Ten missing after a shipwreck in the DRC

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a dozen people missing after their boat capsized on the Kasai River in the centre of the country. Research is under way to try to find the bodies of the victims or possible survivors.

This makeshift boat sank Thursday late afternoon. The accident occurred on the Kasai River, about ten kilometers from the city of Tshikapa. “Of the 18 people who were on board, 7 managed to escape,” said Hubert Mbingho, vice governor of Kasai province.

The other 11 passengers are missing. “Research has been launched to try to find the bodies of victims or possible survivors,” says local civil society.

Investigations are under way to try to determine the causes of this sinking. Shipwrecks on Congolese waters are frequent. Often these are makeshift boats that do not meet basic safety standards. These boats that crisscross the Congo River and its tributaries, are often overloaded and sail at night, on unmarked rivers.

A week ago, at least 19 people perished on the Ubangui River in the north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Their makeshift boat, overloaded and sailing at night, have struck a rock, before capsizing.

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