Multiple Fatalities As Boat Capsizes In Congo Lake
At least 38 people died in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday when the boat they were traveling in capsized.
The boat was ferrying goods and people across Lake Kivu, when it tipped over and sank at around 4 a.m local time.
[Bisimwa Mushagalusa, Relative Of Victims]:
"They left Minova at night around 11 p.m. They were met with strong winds that caused the boat to sink. There was a big number of passengers that weren't identified precisely. However, six people survived. My aunt and little brother were on board. They are still missing.”
A rescue team from the Red Cross has recovered 38 bodies and 12 survivors from the lake, with the death toll expected to rise.
The United Nations peacekeeping mission said the accident appeared to have taken place amid strong winds and poor weather.
Details of passengers remain vague.
[Norbert Akokwa, Eyewitness]:
"This boat can carry almost 100 people. If there is cargo on board, it's 80 or 70. We don't know how many people were on board when the boat sank, but six have survived. At the moment, we know nothing.”
Boats are an important mode of transport in Congo, a vast country where the road network is virtually non-existent.
Accidents are common due to poor maintenance and overloading, and death tolls are often high as many passengers are unable to swim.