The authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo recovered 50 bodies after the wreck on Wednesday of a boat on a river in the northwest of the country, according to an official report provided on Friday.
“The shipwreck was recorded during the night of Wednesday, we found 49 bodies on Thursday and one more this morning,” Richard Mboyo Iluka, vice governor of Tshuapa province, told AFP.
The shipwreck occurred in the Momboyo River, in the territory of Monkoto, 750 km from Mbandaka, capital of the neighboring province of Ecuador.
The boat made the trip Monkoto-Mbandaka with several dozen passengers on board and a large amount of goods, according to the testimonies of the inhabitants to the AFP.
“The causes of the shipwreck and the number of missing persons are not yet known. A provincial government mission has already been sent to the site to get more details, “said Mboyo.
He added that “the boat sailed at night, devoid of light.” A government measure prohibits precarious vessels from sailing at night in Congolese waters.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, shipwrecks are common in both lakes and rivers, and the balance of deaths from these accidents are usually very high because they are old or precarious boats that make transfers with overload, without life jackets and with many passengers who can not swim.