Hundreds feared missing after boat sinks in Lake Tanganyika

DAKAR: More than two hundred people were feared missing after a boat sank in Democratic Republic of Congo’s waters on Lake Tanganyika on Thursday night, a senior Tanzanian official said on Sunday.

Amid what it said were conflicting reports of the death toll, the Congolese government said in a statement read on national television on Sunday that it had sent a mission led by Transport Minister Kalumba Mwana Ngongo to the scene of the accident, some 90 km (55 miles) south of the town of Kalemie.

U.N. radio in Congo, Radio Okapi, said on Friday that at least 26 people had died and authorities had rescued 221 people after the boat sank in the vast lake.

Radio Okapi said it was not clear how many people were travelling in the boat, which was carrying passengers between Katanga and South Kivu provinces in eastern Congo. However, local officials were quoted as saying on Sunday that more than 100 people had died.

Tanzanian authorities said the vessel had been carrying some 500 people.

“It was carrying about 500 people and about 230 people have been rescued so far,” Deputy Inspector General of Police Abdulrahman Kaniki told Reuters by telephone, attributing the information to the head of the Tanzanian marine police.