Six bodies found, 19 missing and 237 rescued after a barge, heading for Basoko, sank.
Up to 25 people are feared to have died after a barge sank on the Congo River, authorities in Tshopo province in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said.
“A barge, which was leaving Kisangani for Basoko, sank on Friday evening. The toll today is six bodies that have been found, 237 survivors and 19 missing, ”Tshopo vice-governor Maurice Abibu Sakapela told AFP news agency on Tuesday.
“The prosecution has opened an investigation. Some people have already been arrested, ”he said before adding that“ the overload and poor condition of the ship ”were to blame for the accident.
Rivers and waterways are widely used for travel in the DRC in the absence of asphalt roads and railways.
But many ships are old or poorly maintained, and captains can overlook loading and safety rules despite requirements adopted in April 2019 for all passengers to wear life jackets.