Dozens of people are dead and several are missing after boats collide in Congo, an official says

 KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Dozens of people are dead and several are missing after two boats collided on the Congo River in western Congo, a local official said. The boats loaded with people and goods crashed Monday east of Congo’s capital of Kinshasa, official Eliezer Ntambwe said Monday evening. Ntambwe said it wasn’t clear what [[{“value”:”

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Dozens of people are dead and several are missing after two boats collided on the Congo River in western Congo, a local official said.

The boats loaded with people and goods crashed Monday east of Congo’s capital of Kinshasa, official Eliezer Ntambwe said Monday evening.

Ntambwe said it wasn’t clear what caused the crash. Another official confirmed the accident but didn’t give a death toll.

Horrified residents watched from the riverbank. A video seen by The Associated Press shows people flailing in the water while small boats move towards them.

It was not immediately clear how many people were rescued.

Deadly boating accidents occur frequently in Congo as crews often overload small wooden vessels. Rivers are key to transport in the vast central African country with some of the world’s least developed road infrastructure. Most river traffic is run by small, informal operators, and officials have warned that adherence to maritime regulations is poor.

In January, most of the 50 passengers aboard a wooden boat that capsized on a lake in eastern Congo were presumed dead.

Jean-yves Kamale, The Associated Press

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