30 dead, hundreds missing after a boat carrying 350 passengers capsizes in Congo lake

Thirty people died and scores of passengers were missing after a boat carrying more than 350 passengers capsized on a lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The mayor of town of Innogo in western Congo told reporters that local divers who were leading the search operations found 183 survivors from the site of the sinking.

The overloaded vessel departed from Innogo but sank off Lake Mai-Ndombe after it hit “violent winds” a few kilometers before arriving at its destination Saturday night.

Boat accidents with high fatalities are common on Congo waterways, where water is a major form of transport for many living in rural areas.

In 2015, over 100 people were declared missing after two boats collided in the Congo river.

The common reason for boat casualties was the age of vessels and navigation problems. In April,  150 people went missing after a boat sank on a lake in eastern Congo.

Soon after the incident the President Felix Tshisekedi made it mandatory for boats to have life buoys.

Source : Various