About 60 people have died and hundreds more are missing after a passenger barge became shipwrecked on the Congo river overnight on Sunday.
The whaling boat was carrying more than 700 people when it sank, but only 300 survivors have so far been located near the scene of the accident in Mai-Ndombe province in the west of the country.
Another 240 people are unaccounted for, the Democratic Republic of Congo‘s humanitarian affairs minister Steve Mbikayi wrote on Twitter.
Deadly boat accidents are common in Congo, which has few tarred roads across its vast, forested interior and where vessels are frequently loaded well beyond their capacity.
For most people, the Congo river and its tributaries are the only means of travelling long distances.
Mr Mbikayi said on Twitter: “An overloaded whaler, sailing at night with more than 700 passengers was wrecked in Maindombe!
“60 bodies already found with 300 survivors! We sympathize with the bereaved families and demand the sanctions against all those responsible for the transport sector.”
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