29 Nov 2009

Congo boat sinking leaves more than 70 dead

2:53 pm on 29 November 2009

The Red Cross says more than 70 people have died in a boat accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Red Cross said the accident happened when two logging barges tied together sank in Lake Mai-Ndombe, in Bandundu province, some 400km north-east of Kinshasa.

Bodies are reported to be trapped in the sunken vessels, reports the BBC.

Local reports say the barges were not authorised to take passengers but the Red Cross has spoken of more than 300 on board.

Many people rely on boats because the roads are so bad and the Democratic Republic of Congo is covered with a vast network on rivers.

But the vessels are often overloaded and badly maintained so accidents are common.