Saturday, July 07, 2007

Nine Dead In Congo Boat Collision

At least nine people died and 22 were missing after a boat collision on Democratic Republic of Congo's Lake Kivu, local and UN officials said. Another 106 passengers survived after a passenger ship travelling from the capital of South Kivu province, Bukavu, to the city of Goma in neighbouring North Kivu struck a dugout canoe off the island of Idjwi. "Most of those killed were in the dugout, and of them, eight were children," Tharciffe Muhima, a provincial government minister, told Reuters. "We haven't found any more bodies yet."Officials from Congo's UN peacekeeping mission said it had dispatched two boats to carry local authorities to the scene and to help with rescue operations. Such accidents are not uncommon in Congo, where boat travel is often the best option due to poor roads. Safety standards go largely unenforced. "These dugouts are overloaded. They don't have any lights and travel on the lake at night. These are the norms," Muhima said.

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