At least 180 people went missing after a ship accident occurred late Sunday on the Congo River in the northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), local authorities said Thursday.
Competent Mboyo, river commissioner of Mbandaka, capital of the province of Equateur, announced the tragedy in a provisional assessment, without stating further details.
The rickety boat was overloaded with about 600 passengers, reported the UN-backed news outlet Radio Okapi, citing some survivors’ testimonies.
“There were dead bodies buried in the hull of the boat. We saw at least three bodies,” a survivor quoted as saying.
“But we do not know the exact number since there are so far too many missing,” the survivor added.
Ship accidents are recurrent across the DRC, particularly on the Congo River, where night-time travel, overloads as well as poor conditions of ships are usually the causes.