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More Than 80 Presumed Dead After Boat Capsizes in DR Congo

The disaster happened on Wednesday on the Kwa River, 70km from the town of Mushie in the province of Mai-Ndombe near the border with neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville.

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More than 80 people are believed to have died after a boat carrying them capsized in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the country’s president Felix Tshisekedi has said.

He said the boat accident happened on Wednesday at some point on the Kwa River, about 70km from Mushie town in Mai-Ndombe Province, where the vessel had started its journey toward the capital, Kinshasa, on Monday night.

“The President of the Republic is calling for an investigation into the true causes of this unfortunate incident to prevent such a disaster from happening again in the future,” the presidency said in a statement posted on X.

The vessel was carrying about 271 people, well above its capacity, when it suffered an engine failure and capsized, sending all of them into the water, Ren Maker, an official of the Congolese rivers authority, said on a national radio station.

According to Rita Bola Dula, the governor of Mai-Ndombe Province, where the disaster occurred, night sailing partly caused the overcrowded boat to sink.

“We are in the process of extracting the survivors and other bodies,” Dula told Reuters news agency.

Deadly boat accidents are common in the DRC, where vessels are frequently loaded well beyond their capacity. The central African country has few tarred roads across its vast, forested territory, and river travel is common.

> Passenger Boat in Tanzania Capsizes, Killing 5

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JUSTUS KIPRONO
JUSTUS KIPRONOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Justus Kiprono is a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He tracks Capital Markets and economic trends, infrastructure reform, government spending, and the financial impacts of state decision-making nationwide. You can reach him: [email protected]
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