The death toll from a boat accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo has hit 40 and could rise even higher as search operations continue, with several people still feared missing.
The boat capsized late Friday in Mbandaka city, located in the north-western Equateur Province. At the time of the accident, the vessel was carrying more than 100 passengers along the Congo River to the town of Bolomba
According to local Radio Okapi, the boat found difficulty navigating the waters because it had been overloaded.
Attempts by the boat’s crew to find balance proved futile as it turned over before sinking completely into the river.
Authorities and volunteer civilians have joined hands in the search operations, as families to those still missing await news of their kin.
Boat accidents are common in the DR Congo’s waters, as vessels that are often poorly serviced, are overloaded with passengers and luggage.
In January, more than 145 people were feared dead after a boat capsized in Lulonga river, which flows into the Congo River.
In October 2022, at least 27 people died after a boat they were traveling in capsized in Congo River.
Another over 60 people died after a boat capsized in the Congo River in February 2021.