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37 dead, more than 200 missing after boat accident on DRC lake – IOL

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File picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA).

Kinshasa – At least 37 people have died and 200 are missing after a boat sank on a lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities said on Monday.

The accident happened on Lake Mai-Ndombe near the village of Lokanga in the country’s west on Saturday.

“Thirty-seven bodies have been recovered from the water, but more than 200 are missing,” said Cosmos Mbo Wemba, mayor of Inongo – the capital of Mai-Ndombe province.

Some 185 passengers were also rescued, he said, confirming there had been around 400 people onboard. The owner of the boat was arrested on Sunday, the mayor said.

“The big boat had the capacity to transport 80 people, but it was carrying 400 when it sank, said a local priest, Bonaventure Mulwale.

Ferry accidents are common on the lakes and rivers of Congo. Boats are frequently overloaded and lack life vests.

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