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Boat ban after fatal DR Congo accident


Picket passenger boats that are more than 5 several years outdated are to be banned from a lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo where by hundreds of individuals are feared to have drowned at the weekend.

Some 45 men and women are identified to have died when an overcrowded boat sank on Lake Mai-Ndombe. About 200 continue to be lacking.

The partial ban on more mature picket vessels was introduced by a provincial governor.

DR Congo sees regular boat accidents on its waterways, which are a well-known implies of transport across the country.

The place, which is about the size of mainland western Europe, has a lousy street network, and big parts are inaccessible besides by air or boat.

Numerous of the passenger ferries on its lakes and rivers are poorly taken care of and overloaded.

The most recent accident took position on Saturday evening in Mai-Ndombe province in western DR Congo, involving a type of flat-bottomed wooden vessel acknowledged as a balieniere or whaler.

On Monday, provincial governor Antoine Masamba introduced on the Chat Congo radio station that all this kind of boats that have been a lot more than 5 yrs outdated would be banned from the lake. It is not distinct when the ban will come into force, nor how a lot of vessels will be affected.

In accordance to the governor, the boat experienced been carrying some 400 travellers, of whom 45 had been verified dead and 200 were nonetheless unaccounted for.

The vessel was not meant to carry far more than 80 persons. Its official manifest signifies that it experienced about 130 travellers.

According to the BBC’s Gaius Kowene in Kinshasa, the real number of people today travelling aboard the boat was significantly increased since it had taken on further passengers alongside its route.

The vessel, certain for Boliangwa, sank virtually 30km (18 miles) from the town of Inongo, its place of departure and the capital of Mai-Ndombe Province.

The mayor of Inongo, Simon Mboo Wemba, reported the captain of the vessel experienced been arrested. He explained most of the travellers on board were being instructors, going to gather their salaries.

Last thirty day period, at least 167 men and women died in two boat incidents on Lake Kivu. This prompted Felix Tshisekedi, who turned president in January, to make it mandatory for passengers to wear lifestyle jackets.

But it is not distinct if people on the boat that sank on Saturday were being putting on any.

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