More than 100 dead or missing in boat accident in DR Congo

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Palestinian fishermen go fishing on their boat at a seaport in Gaza, Feb. 5, 2020. The Israeli army decided on Wednesday to reduce the allowed fishing zone off the Gaza Strip coast from 15 to 10 nautical miles, said Israeli and Palestinian sources. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)
(Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

More than 100 people have died or remain missing after a boat accident on the Congo River overnight Monday into Tuesday in the northeastern province of Mongala in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a local official said Saturday.

The boat overturned after being filled beyond safe capacity and encountering a bad weather, near the village of Engengele, in the province of Mongala.

As of Saturday morning, 61 bodies had been recovered from the water, while 31 people had been rescued, Nestor Magbado, deputy spokesman for the provincial governor, told reporters, without specifying the number of passengers on board due to the absence of a passenger manifest.

The spokesman estimated that around 60 people remain missing based on the boat’s capacity, adding that the rescue operations were underway to find the disappeared.

“The plausible cause of the said shipwreck is the overload aggravated by bad weather,” he noted.

Starting Oct. 11, the Mongala province will be in mourning for three days in memory of the victims.

Shipwrecks are recurrent across the DRC, particularly on the Congo River, where overloads and poor conditions of canoes and whalers are usually the causes of most accidents. Enditem

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