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Scores drown after boat capsizes in DR Congo

© NASA, AFP file picture | This NASA satellite file image shows Lake Tanganyika in Democratic Republic of Congo

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-12-14

At least 129 people drowned after a boat capsized on Lake Tanganyika in the southeast of Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday night, officials said Sunday.

"Rescue workers recovered a total of 129 bodies," an official told AFP.

The vessel, which was packed with passengers and goods, had been travelling north from Kalemie in Katanga province to Uvira in South Kivu province when it sank.

It was not immediately clear why the vessel capsized, but Katanga's Transport Minister Laurent Kahozi Sumba on Saturday said the boat appeared to have been carrying excess weight.

He said 221 passengers had been rescued.

Deadly shipwrecks are frequent on the lakes and rivers of DR Congo, where boats are often overloaded, life jackets frequently missing and many people cannot swim.

Lake Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake in the world and also borders Tanzania, as well as Burundi and Zambia.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-12-14

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