More than 100 people have died or gone missing as a result of the sinking of an improvised ship in the Congo River, the Democratic Republic of the Congo province said today.
Fifty-one bodies were recovered from the water late Friday night, with 69 more reported missing, Nestor Magbado, spokesman for the governor of Mongolia’s northwestern province, told AFP. According to him, only 39 people survived.
Without an accurate list of passengers on board, the missing number is an estimate based on the boat’s capacity, he said.
The ship consisted of nine connected canoes known as pies.
The incident could have been caused by “congestion, exacerbated by bad weather” at night, Magbado said.
The extent of the incident was unclear until Friday night, when reports emerged in the media, which were confirmed by the provincial authorities this morning.
Magbado said Mongala authorities informed Kinshasa of the flooding as soon as it happened, but waited for more information on the death toll.
Search and rescue operations continue, he said, but hopes for finding new survivors are dwindling.
The provincial authorities announced three days of mourning on Monday.