More Than 80 Perish in Congo River Boat Accident

June 13, 2024 by No Comments

President Félix Tshisekedi confirmed on Wednesday that a boat carrying over 270 passengers capsized on a river near Kinshasa, the capital of Congo, resulting in the deaths of more than 80 people.

This tragic incident marks the latest in a string of deadly boat accidents in the country, often attributed to overloading. A similar incident in February saw dozens perish after an overloaded vessel sank.

According to a statement released by Tshisekedi, the locally constructed boat overturned late Monday in Maï-Ndombe province along the Kwa River.

The boat, en route to Kinshasa with 271 passengers, suffered an engine failure, leading to its capsizing, according to the , citing Ren Maker, the water commissioner in the Mushi district where the accident occurred.

Maker reported that 86 passengers perished, while 185 managed to swim to shore, approximately 43 miles from the nearest town of Mushie.

He explained that the boat collided with the river bank, causing it to break apart.

Congolese authorities have repeatedly cautioned against overloading vessels and vowed to punish those who disregard water transportation safety regulations. However, in remote areas where a majority of passengers originate, many are unable to afford public transport due to the limited availability of roads.