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Dozens dead after ‘overloaded’ boat sinks in Congo River

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say more than 60 people have drowned after a barge capsized and sank on the Congo River.

Three-hundred people have been rescued but possibly 200 others are unaccounted for following the accident.

Locals said the boat hit a rock east of the capital, Kinshasa, while travelling at night, which is forbidden.

The Congolese minister for humanitarian affairs, Steve Mbikayi, called for those responsible for the boat to be charged.

“An overloaded whaler, sailing at night with more than 700 passengers was wrecked in Mai-Ndombe! 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,” he wrote on Twitter.

There are few roads in the country and much of the freight and passenger traffic is on the river.


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