25 Feared Drowned In Congo River Barge Accident

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) northeastern province of Tshopo said that up to 25 people are feared to have died after a barge sank on the Congo River.

Tshopo’s vice governor, Maurice Abibu Sakapela, said on Tuesday that “A barge, which was leaving Kisangani for Basoko, sank on Friday evening. The toll today is six bodies which have been recovered, 237 survivors and 19 missing,”

” The public prosecutor has opened an inquiry. Some people have already been arrested,” he said before adding that the accident was to be blamed on “overloading and the poor state of the vessel.

In the absence of paved roads and railways, rivers and waterways are commonly used in the DRC for travel.

But many vessels are old or poorly maintained and, despite requirements passed in April 2019 for all passengers to wear life jackets, skippers may turn a blind eye to lading and safety regulations.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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