150 people missing after shipwreck in eastern DRC

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About 150 people are missing after a boat sunk on a lake in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, President Felix Tshisekedi said on Tuesday.

“I am very saddened by the shipwreck of a pirogue on (Monday) April 15 on Lake Kivu. The provisional toll is 150 people missing,” Tshisekedi said on his office’s Twitter account.

Delphin Mbirimbi, a local activist in South Kivu province, told Reuters that the boat, which had departed from neighbouring North Kivu province, wrecked on the lake near Kalehe territory.

He said three bodies had been recovered, 33 people had been rescued and another 150 passengers were missing.

Tshisekedi said he was following the situation closely “in order to identify and sanction those responsible”.

Transport related accidents have often claimed scores of lives in the DRC be it on the roads, through trains and to some extent air. One of the most recent accidents was in late March 2019 when a train derailed in the Kasai region killing about 32 people.

Authorities are still searching for the missing persons but they have yet to advance possible reasons for the accident.

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