Up to 25 people are feared to have died after a barge sank on the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) northeastern province of Tshopo said six bodies have been recovered.
Overloading and the poor state of the vessel are believed to be the cause of the accident.
“A barge, which was leaving Kisangani for Basoko, sank on Friday evening. The toll today is six bodies which have been recovered, 237 survivors and 19 missing,” Tshopo’s vice governor, Maurice Abibu Sakapela, told the AFP news agency on Tuesday.
Mr. Sakpela said the public prosecutor has opened an inquiry. Reports say some arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
In the absence of paved roads and railways, rivers and waterways are widely used for travel in the DRC.
But many vessels are old or poorly maintained despite the safety requirements passed in April 2019 for all passengers to wear life jackets.