DR Congo: '100 missing' as boat capsizes

Map of Democratic Republic of Congo

About 100 people are missing after a boat capsized on the Kasai river in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reports say.

The vessel sank near the town of Tshikapa in the central Kasai-Occidental province, officials said.

Another boat capsized last year on the same river, a tributary of the Congo river, leaving up to 200 people dead.

Boats are common transport in DR Congo, which has few viable roads or railways but several major lakes and rivers.

Information Minister Lambert Mende said the boat was a cargo vessel, not registered to carry passengers, and was not authorised to sail at night.

He said the boat transporting cassava and maize sank after hitting a floating tree trunk.

The number of passengers is not known because no records were kept.

About 30 people have been rescued.

Some survivors told the UN-backed Radio Okapi that about 100 passengers were missing.

The BBC's Thomas Hubert in Kinshasa says that bodies are still being recovered after a ferry sank last week on Lake Kivu, on DR Congo's eastern border.

About 100 people are believed to have died in that accident.

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