27 people died and 54 are missing in the sinking of a boat on the Kasai River in the south-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the majority of the victims are students who were going on vacation, Local manager.

“After rigorous verifications, we affirm at this stage that there were 27 dead and 54 missing in the sinking of the whaling boat (motorized canoe) which capsized in the night of Thursday to Friday on the river Kasai” at level d ‘Idiofa, told AFP the administrator of Idiofa territory, Jacques Mbila.

“The overload and intoxication of drivers are the main causes of this sinking,” Mbila added. “The majority of the victims are pupils who go on holiday”.

“I was able to identify two nuns from among the 27 bodies that were buried Saturday in Idiofa,” said Nelly Mafuta, a local radio reporter who covered the accident.

The priest of the cathedral of Idiofa declared for his part “having celebrated a mass in memory of 27 people killed in this sinking”.

On Thursday morning, the boat had left Dibaya, in the turbulent province of Kasai-central, with final destination Ilebo, in the other agitated province of central DRC , Kasai. It was at the turn of the Kasai River towards the territory of Idiofa, in the province of Inongo, farther to the west, that the accident took place.

River transport is one of the most widely used in the DRC , which has many rivers – the most important being the Congo, which is 4,700 km long, followed by its tributary, the 2,361 km-long Kasaï River and lakes.

The Kasai River crosses the provinces of Kasai-Central, Inongo and Kasai.

AFP