27 dead, 54 missing in whaling shipwreck in Congo

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Kinshasa, July 17 (IANS) At least 27 people were killed and 54 others were missing in the night of Thursday to Friday after a whaling ship wrecked on the Kasai River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“I confirm that we have 27 dead bodies. The sinking occurred in front of Idiofa,” Xinhua quoted Jacques Mbila, the administrator of the territory, as saying.

Overloading and intoxication of the crew were the causes of the sinking, Mbila said.

According to the administrator, the majority of the victims are pupils who were on holiday. He said the whaler was leaving Dibaya territory for Ilebo when the accident took place at the bend of the Kasai River, towards the Idiofa territory.

The river Kasai is used for river transport from the Congo River to Djokupunda. Overloading is the most important reason for frequent shipwrecks on rivers in DR Congo.

–IANS

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