- Experts suggest the vessel sank due to overcrowding followed by bad weather
- The officials have managed to recover 51 bodies on late Friday, however, 69 are still believed to be missing
- The provincial authorities have declared three days of mourning from Monday
On Saturday, the provincial authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo informed that more than 100 people are either dead or missing in the sinking of a makeshift vessel on the Congo river. The officials have managed to recover 51 bodies on late Friday, however, 69 are still believed to be missing.
Talking to the media, the spokesman for the governor of the northwestern province of Mongala, Nestor Magbado said there were 39 survivors. “With no manifest of the passengers on board, the number missing is an estimate based on the capacity of the boat,” he added. He mentioned that the vessel was nine traditional wooden canoes, known as pirogues, all tied together.
Experts suggest that the accident might have been caused due to overcrowding accompanied by bad weather. The scale of the accident was not clear until it was reported by media late on Friday, and confirmed on Saturday by provincial authorities.
The Mongala authorities have informed Kinshasa of the sinking just after it occurred but had waited for more information about the number of casualties. Meanwhile, search operations continue, and the provincial authorities have declared three days of mourning from Monday.