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Over 100 dead or missing in boat accident in Congo

Earlier this week more than 100 people were killed or missing in a boat accident on the Congo River in the country’s northwest. Officials gave this information on Saturday.

According to local officials and survivors, the tragedy occurred on the night of Monday to Tuesday near the town of Bumba in the northwestern province of Mongala, where nine carved canoes were attached to each other and overturned after filling beyond safe capacity.

Mongala’s provincial transport and communications minister Jose Misiso said at least 61 bodies had been found. Over 100, including children and women, are missing, he said, adding that it is an estimate as there is no manifesto for such boats.

“We have rescued at least 30 people,” he said.

Shipwrecks are frequent on the Congo River and on the country’s lakes as floating boats often become overloaded. Due to the lack of good roads and a less expensive means of transport, the majority of the population uses the rivers in the North West. However, the industry is not well regulated.

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