The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) police announced that thirty-six people were missing after a boat sank in the Congo river on the outskirts of Kinshasa.
It was reported that seventy-six people survived when a boat which was travelling to the capital sank overnight in Maluku commune, almost 100 km from the center of the city.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Pierrot-Rombaut Mwanamputu said, “The cause of the accident is not yet known.”
The boat involved in the accident is called a ‘baleiniere’ or ‘whaler’ which is between 15 to 30 meters long and two to six meters wide.
Officials said lake and river transport is broadly used in the country because the highway system is poor, but accidents are common due to overloading and the unsafe state of the boats.
In majority of accidents, passengers do not carry life jackets, while many cannot swim.
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.