Congo ferry boat capsizes in Lake Tanganyika, killing at least 129 people

14 December 2014 (Last Updated December 14th, 2014 18:30)

A ferry boat carrying passengers between Katanga and South Kivu provinces in eastern Congo, has capsized in Lake Tanganyika, killing at least 129 people.

A ferry boat carrying passengers between Katanga and South Kivu provinces in eastern Congo, has capsized in Lake Tanganyika, killing at least 129 people.

BBC News cited the provincial minister for transport who said approximately 232 people, mostly men, have been rescued. Most of the passengers included women and children.

The search for missing passengers is still underway.

Tanzania Deputy Inspector General of Police Abdulrahman Kaniki was quoted by Reuters saying: "It was carrying about 500 people and about 230 people have been rescued so far."

According to officials, the ferry named MV Mutambala sank due to strong winds and overloading. An official investigation was announced to discover the cause of the sinking.

"According to officials, the ferry named MV Mutambala sank due to strong winds and overloading."

Following the accident, the Congolese Government sent a team-led by Transport Minister Kalumba Mwana Ngongo to the accident scene, which is 90km south of the town of Kalemie, Reuters said.

Earlier this month, at least 70 people died when a boat carrying African migrants capsized off Yemen’s western coast.

Media reports said the majority of migrants were Ethiopians and the boat sank off Yemen’s al-Makha port due to strong winds and rough waves.

The latest global drowning report by World Health Organization (WHO) stated 1,000 people every day, or 40 people every hour, lose their lives drowning worldwide.

The report revealed more than 90% of deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, with the highest rates reported in the African, South East Asia and Western Pacific regions.