More than 40 people died, while rescue workers were still searching for 167 others missing after a boat that was carrying them capsized in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to media reports in the country.
The incident occurred on Friday, October 13, in the Congo River, near the town of Mbandaka — the capital of Équateur Province in DRC — located at about 700 km northeast of Kinshasa.
As per media reports, the boat in question was overloaded with more than 300 passengers and cargo, citing a civil society group involved in rescue and recovery efforts.
Of the passenger on onboard the ill-fated boat, 189 were rescued after the boat sank.
Officials were quoted as saying that the boat was sailing at night in breach of safety regulations.
Because of availability of few tarmac roads across DRC’s vast, forested territory, boats are a common mode of transport.
It is said that overloading, a lack of maintenance and travelling at night are among factors contributing to boat accidents in the country.