Over 80 people killed after boat capsised in DR Congo

According to reports by local media, the boat broke down due to an engine failure while transporting 271 passengers to Kinshasa.

Shipwreck DRC
The boat broke down due to an engine malfunction when it was transporting 271 passengers to Kinshasa. Photo Credit: @SergeKanyinda13/X

More than 80 people have died following a shipwreck in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The office of the president in a statement announced the boat sank in the Kwa River in the province of Maï-Ndombe, 70 kilometres from the city of Mushie.

“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,” part of the statement said.

According to further reports by local media, the boat broke down due to an engine failure while transporting 271 passengers to Kinshasa.

The U.N.-backed Radio Okapi, reported that Ren Maker, the water commissioner in the Mushi district where the accident happened disclosed that 86 passengers died while 185 swam ashore, approximately 70 kilometres (43 miles) from the closest city of Mushie.

He stated that the boat collided with the riverbank and split up.

President Félix Tshisekedi, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.

Due to the poor road infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), many people rely on boats to cross the several branches of the Congo River, which runs along the country’s western border. Sadly, deadly shipwrecks occur frequently in Africa.

Meanwhile, Congolese authorities have consistently issued advisories against overloading and pledged to prosecute anyone who disobeys safety regulations pertaining to water transportation. However, many people in the outlying areas where the majority of passengers originate cannot afford to take public transport on the few routes that are accessible.

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