Over 80 killed in boat accident in western Congo

Deadly boat accidents are common in the waters of Congo, where vessels are frequently loaded well beyond their capacity.

Photo credit: File

More than 80 people have been killed in a boat accident on the River Kwa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said on Wednesday.

The accident involved two boats, one of which was heading to the capital Kinshasa before suffering an engine failure. It was hit by a second boat which caused the accident, Ren Maker, an official of the Congolese riverways authority, said.

The incident that took place late on Monday was caused by night sailing, Rita Bola Dula, governor of Mai-Ndombe province, told Reuters.

"We are in the process of extracting the survivors and other bodies," Dula said.

Deadly boat accidents are common in the waters of Congo, where vessels are frequently loaded well beyond their capacity. The central African country has few tarred roads across its vast, forested territory, and river travel is common.

The presidency, which put the provisional death toll at over 80, called for an investigation to prevent such an accident from happening again.