50 killed after vehicle falls into DR Congo river

At least 50 people were killed when the vehicle they were in plunged into a river in southeastern DR Congo, a local source said on Tuesday.

“A truck fell into the Kaluma-Ngongo with more than 50 passengers on board” Sunday, said Harce Kayumba, spokesman for the Haut-Katanga regional government.

Divers launched a search and rescued two survivors who are being treated in the hospital.

The search continues for the other passengers, Kayumba added, without giving any further details of the accident.

In neighboring Lualaba province, the derailment of a goods train “caused the death of nine people and left 36 injured, 11 seriously,” provincial interior minister Adeoda Kapenda told AFP.

Road accidents are frequent in the Democratic Republic of Congo, often caused by ignoring traffic rules, with old vehicles not subject to technical inspections.

The vast majority of roads in the country are just dirt tracks and drivers are often poorly trained and/or drunk.

Train crashes are also regular occurrences, leading to many deaths as stowaways often jump up into the train wagons, given the poor roads and lack of passenger trains.