More than 100 death in DR Congo boat collision

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 29, 2011 8:19 AM

KINSHASA (Reuters) - More than 100 people were killed after two boats collided on Tuesday night on a river in the Equateur province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a survivor said on Friday.

Alfred Lompaka said the boats were carrying more than 200 people and so far, about 83 survivors have been counted.

Lompaka said one of the boats, a local construction made by attaching three large motorized canoes together to transport more passengers and produce, was sailing in the dark without lights and collided with another boat, also without lights.

Congolese authorities have not confirmed the number of victims, and have told local media they are waiting for a final report of the investigation in to the latest boat accident.

Boat accidents are common in the mineral-rich Central African nation, and are often caused by poor maintenance and overcrowding.

Rivers and lakes are vital transport routes for people and produce in the vast nation, which has virtually no road network.

In May, Congo's President Joseph Kabila sacked his transport minister after a series of boat accidents killed more than 100 people.

(Reporting by Bienvenu-Marie Bakumanya; Writing by Bate Felix)