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Congo riverboat accident claims at least 86 lives

At least 86 people have died in a riverboat accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the presidential office said on Wednesday.

The boat sank in the province of Maï-Ndombe while on the river Kwa early on Wednesday morning, the office said. It was not clear how many passengers it was carrying.

The accident happened in the dark, said the commissioner of the river authority, Ren Maker, adding that it was probably an engine failure.

According to Maker, dozens of people jumped into the water when the boat began to sink and were able to save themselves.

President Felix Tshisekedi said he was devastated by the tragedy. He has ordered an investigation into the cause of the accident with the aim of preventing similar disasters in the future, the presidential office posted on the social media platform X.

River transport is key to the country of 90 million inhabitants, as distances are vast and many roads are in poor condition.

Many of the riverboats are made of wood, poorly maintained and often overloaded.GN

Source: Ghana News Agency