The DR Congo authorities have confirmed the death toll of Monday boat incident on Lake Kivu, at least 104 people out of 150 that boarded the canoe died, Africanews reported.
The tragic incident took lives of 104 people, said President Felix Tshisekedi who arrived at the disaster zone on Thursday to meet with the local authorities and families of victims. The boat sinking tragedy’s reason was the overweight and poor sailing conditions, the experts concluded. Local fishermen were searching for the missing.
During the sinking, about thirty people were rescued, the rest of the passengers have died, the report given to the president reads. On Monday night, a boat capsized on Lake Kivu in South Kivu province in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During an official visit to the province, President Tshisekedi met with the families of those who died during the boat sinking tragedy. The national leader decreed a day of national mourning commemorating the victims.
“We are going to do everything to make sure that this type of tragedy doesn’t happen again,” President said and added such tragedies often happens because of certain economic operators who use “rundown boats because of their greed”.
The boat sinking tragedy: DR Congo mourns
Initially, the boat from Goma has transported 49 people and some goods, several stops in the villages en route made the boat overloaded with goods and people, according to Muamba Cibwabwa, the administrator of the territory of Kalehe.
Deadly boat accidents are common in Congo, which has few tarred roads across its vast, forested interior and where vessels are frequently loaded well beyond their capacity.
It was unclear who operated the boat and exactly how it sank, though overcrowding is often a cause.
“We understand the boat was in a deplorable state,” said local transport official Jacqueline Ngengele.