At Least 60 People Died After A Boat Carrying Some 700 Capsized in Mai-Ndombe province

At least 60 people have died and hundred more are said to be missing after a boat capsized in the Congo River in western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a government official.

The minister for humanitarian action, Steve Mbikayi who spoke with Al Jazeera yesterday said 700 people were on board the vessel that sunk near the village of Longola Ekoti, in Mai-Ndombe province, the previous night.

Mbikayi said, “So far the rescue team has recovered 60 lifeless bodies and 300 survivors. There are still several missing after this shipwreck.”

The vessel was reported to had left from the capital, Kinshasa, and was heading to Equator province, when the accident occurred.

“The main cause of the sinking remains the overload of goods and the excess number of passengers in the whaling boat,” the minister said, adding “that night navigation also played a role in the sinking”.