DR Congo boat wreckage left 40 missing in Lake Kivu

16:51, April 28, 2010      

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A boat wreckage in Lake Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) left at least 40 people missing, local authorities reported on Tuesday.

A boat from the Idjwi island was sailing on Monday to Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, when it overturned. The wreckage occurred at around 3 a.m. (0200 GMT).

"This boat was carrying about 80 people," according to the provincial director of the Water Transport Authority (RVF) for North and South Kivu provinces, Henri Adila.

The official said they were waiting for preliminary investigation to know the exact figure.

"What is for sure is that we managed to save 29 people with emergency boats that arrived two hours after the wreckage." he said.

In Adila's opinion, overloading, lack of lighting system and violent winds in Lake Kivu could be the cause of this accident.

He appealed to police responsible for water transport to ensure that all boats moving along Lake Kivu provide their passengers with lifebelts and have lights just like in neighboring Rwanda.

Situated in DR Congo and close to Rwanda, the Idjwi island is right in the middle of Lake Kivu. It is one of the biggest lakeside islands in Africa. The island, between Bukavu and Goma, has a population of 200,000 people, and has become an outlet for trade between DR Congo and Rwanda.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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