40 dead, more than 100 missing in a shipwreck in DR Congo

By Agencies

About forty bodies were recovered after the shipwreck in Engengele, 24 km on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s River upstream from Bumba, on the night of Tuesday and Wednesday.

The incident occurred between 11 p.m. and midnight. The convoy of nine motorized canoes came from the locality of Moenge, in the province of Tshopo, more than 150 kilometers from Bumba. Rescued bodies, already in decomposition, were immediately buried on the spot. Overloading is the main cause of this capsizing.

More than a hundred people are missing, witnesses say. About 300 passengers were on board. It is a convoy of motorized canoes returning from the town of Moenge, 24 kilometers upstream from the town. Most of the victims are traders and young vacationers, who were returning to Bumba.

In the capsized convoy, there was a large consignment of goods, including sacks of corn, other food, planks and baked bricks. This explains the overload, which is the main cause of the accident. Witnesses say they are encountering logistical difficulties in searching for the bodies.

The research continues until Thursday, October 7 morning. Security services, including elements of the naval force, and riparian boatmen are looking for other bodies, said the administrator of the territory of Bumba, Michée Manzia.