KINSHASA, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- More than 40 people were drowned after a boat sank last Saturday night on the Ubangi River in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), local authorities in the North Ubangi Province said.
Gbodi Kete, the administrator of the territory of Bosobolo told Xinhua late Thursday that among the dead were at least 18 Central African Republic citizens whose bodies have been recovered with the other Congolese passengers who died during the accident.
The boat that was already in a dilapidated state was sailing nightly from the Central African Republic on the River when it capsized, he added.
A source of the cabinet of the governor of North Ubangi Province said that more people could be drowned because so far the exact number of passengers and goods from the country of departure was not known.
Cases of shipwrecks on the lakes and rivers are not uncommon in DR Congo. The poor condition and overloading of the boats are often the root cause for most of these accidents. In addition, authorities say night travel on waters also increases safety risks.
Since the beginning of this year, authorities have even decided to prohibit all night navigation of boats on the river to avoid accidents.
In September, 27 people died in a wreck that occurred on the Mongala River in Mongala province in the northwest of the country.