Congo boat catches fire, capsizes; 200 feared dead

September 5, 2010 18:20

KINSHASA, Congo – A survivor of a boat capsize in central Congo said at least 200 people are feared dead after the engine caught fire and led the vessel to overturn.

Survivor Fabrice Muamba said the boat capsized into the Kasai River late Saturday. He said the boat was also carrying many drums full of fuel through Kasai Occidental Province. He said he believed 15 people were able to swim to safety.Congo is a vast country of jungles and huge rivers in Central Africa with little more than 300 miles (480 kilometers) of paved road. Many people prefer to take boats even if they do not know how to swim.

The boats are often in poor repair and filled beyond capacity, and the industry is not well-regulated.

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