Congolese lawmakers say 14 people drowned in a lake on the border between Zambia and Congo when the boat they were taking across sank earlier this week
KINSHASA, Congo — Fourteen people drowned in a lake on the border between Zambia and Congo when the boat they were taking across sank earlier this week, Congolese lawmakers said Friday.
The boat passengers died on Lake Mwero as they were leaving Chinsamba island, according to Abraham Kitanika Soriano, a member of Congo’s parliament. A 15th passenger died of a heart attack due to the stress of the incident, he said.
The boat left the island Monday morning with approximately 50 people on board and encountered severe wind. Zambian authorities rescued an unknown number of survivors from the water after the vessel went down.
All fourteen bodies were recovered from the lake, officials said.
Boat sinkings are common in remote parts of Congo and have caused dozens of fatalities.
Many watercraft are overloaded with cargo and people who don’t know how to swim. Rescue operations are extremely limited in remote parts of the country.
At least 145 passengers went missing and were feared dead in January after a motorized boat overloaded with goods and animals sank at night on a river in northwestern Congo.