September 29, 2009 / 8:09 PM / 10 years ago

Nine dead, many missing after Congo boat accident

KINSHASA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - At least nine people died and many more were feared dead after an overloaded boat capsized on a remote stretch of river in Congo, a local official said on Tuesday.

"Nine bodies have been buried and about 40 people have been rescued," Albert Beya, head of the local river authority, said.

The accident, which took place 90 km (55 miles) south of the town of Tshikapa, near Democratic Republic of Congo’s southern border with Angola, followed a similar incident that left at least 14 dead elsewhere in Congo earlier this month.

Beya said the accident occurred on Monday morning and there were still many missing, although he could not give details on numbers as none of the crew members had been found.

Overloading and rough weather on the river were the likely causes of the accident, he added.

Accidents are frequent in Congo, where lack of roads and other infrascructure leaves people with little choice but to ply a network of rivers on poorly maintained and overloaded boats. (Reporting by Joe Bavier; Writing by David Lewis; editing by Michael Roddy)




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