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DR CONGO: 150 people missing after boat capsized

Search and rescue operations are under way in the Democratic Republic of Congo where at least 150 people were missing after a boat accident on Monday on Lake Kivu.

Local fishermen are using motor-powered canoes to conduct the search.

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The wooden pirogue that capsized, while carrying cargo and passengers, was travelling from the Kituku near Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, and went down near Kalehe, in the neighbouring province of South Kivu.

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Local maritime authorities coordinating the rescue team told the BBC at least 37 people were brought safely to dry land and at least three bodies had been recovered from the lake.

President Felix Tshisekedi tweeted on Tuesday that at least 150 people are missing and promised to prosecute anyone responsible for the accident.

The causes are unknown, but weather conditions are unpredictable on the lake and pirogues are routinely overloaded.

A local official said it’s hard to know the exact number of passengers as no-one could inspect the boat before it left.

 

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