Goma [Congo]: Out of the 150 people declared missing, at least three people lost their lives and 37 were rescued after an overcrowded boat capsized in Lake Kivu, according to Vital Muhini, the national Deputy from South Kivu province.
Expressing his grief, Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi said: “I am very saddened by the sinking of a boat on April 15 at Lake Kivu. The provisional toll is 150 missing. I express my sincere compassion to the families who have suffered,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
Muhini told CNN that the overloaded boat had departed from Kituku port before the mishap occurred.
The exact number of people on board is not known. Initial investigations revealed that the passengers were not wearing life jackets.
“It’s unfortunate to find that people travel aboard a small boat. They had no life jackets…which calls for sanctions of all the perpetrators who contributed to this sinking,” Muhini said.
The country’s previous transport minister was sacked from his post after a string of accidents along its waterways in 2011. Previously, more than 100 people were declared missing after two boats collided on the Congo River in 2015.
The death toll is expected to rise as efforts are ongoing to locate the other missing passengers.