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Two boat accidents in DR Congo leave 15 dead, 160 missing

09-06-2010 15:50 BJT

KINSHASA, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Two boat accidents happened over the weekend in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), leaving at least 15 people dead and 160 others missing.

The first wreckage occurred on early Saturday, involving a small motorized boat on the River Ruki at the section of Balonga, 58 km away from Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province.

At least 15 people were found dead and about 60 others went missing, the UN-run Radio Okapi reported on Sunday, citing provincial government spokesperson Rebecca Ebala.

According to some survivors, the boat was navigating without any light at around 1 a.m. local time when it hit a tree trunk in the water and began to sink, she said.

A businessman in Mbandaka said there were about 100 passengers on board the boat heading to Mpombi, some 90 km from Mbandaka. Overloading could be one of the reasons for the wreckage, he said, adding the vessel was also carrying several tons of merchandise.

On late Saturday and early Sunday, a fishing boat owned by a "Nguma" company capsized in the River Kasai at Port Inga, which is about 50 km from the town of Tshikapa in Kasai Occidental province. About 100 people were reportedly missing.

Local sources said a fire broke out on the boat and that the blaze might have been the cause of this catastrophe.

The boat was moving from Tshikapa to Ditunga with passengers and oil products on board.

The local Urban Security Council held an extraordinary meeting on Sunday on a rescue mission. There have been no reports of casualties from the latest wreckage.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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