More than 80 people dead in DR Congo after boat capsizes

President Felix Tshisekedi calls for investigation after boat accident on Kwa River in Mai-Ndombe province.

Deadly boat accidents are common in the DRC [File: Luke Dennison/AFP]

More than 80 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have died after the boat they were travelling on sank, President Felix Tshisekedi has announced.

The accident on Wednesday occurred on the Kwa River, about 70km (43 miles) from the city of Mushie in Mai-Ndombe province.

“The President of the Republic is calling for an investigation into the true causes of this unfortunate incident, to prevent such a disaster from happening again in the future,” the presidency said in a statement posted on X.

Tshisekedi “sends his condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims,” the statement said, adding that he directed authorities to take measures and help those affected.

The incident was caused by night sailing, Rita Bola Dula, Mai-Ndombe province governor, told Reuters news agency, adding that the investigations continued.

Deadly boat accidents are common in the DRC, where vessels are frequently loaded well beyond their capacity. The central African country has few tarred roads across its vast, forested territory, and river travel is common.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies