Forty-seven bodies have been recovered from the Congo River as search and rescue efforts continue following the weekend boat disaster, a minister has said.
Marc Ekila, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s transport minister, said the boat accident was caused by overloading and sailing at night, which are prohibited by regulations.
He was speaking for the first time in a televised press conference on Monday night, two days after the deadly incident in which a boat capsized.
It had just departed from the western city of Mbandaka moving further west deep into the DR Congo’s rain-forest region when the incident happened.
Mr Ekila said an investigation was under way and those responsible for the capsizing would be held to account.
Currently, the owner of the boat – who was not on the boat at the time it capsized – and the captain are believed to be at large.
The passenger manifest was not found, making it impossible at this stage to know how many were on board and how many are still missing.
According to the minister, this year alone has seen 88 incidents on DR Congo’s waters.