KINSHASA // A motorized boat sank in northern Congo, killing at least 47 people and leaving around 100 missing, officials said today. Mathieu Modeste Bella, the district commissioner of North Ubangi province, said that the bodies of the victims had been recovered from the Ubangi River. Twenty-seven survivors were also helped to shore. "The rest of the passengers, more than 100, have disappeared. We do not know what happened to them," he said.
Mr Bella said the boat was carrying at least 182 passengers, mostly merchants but also women and children. The boat sank on Tuesday night after it left the Congo town of Mobayi Bongo, around 1,100 km northeast of Congo's capital, Kinshasa. It was going to the Central African Republic, which shares a border with Congo. Because roads are in such bad condition, many people prefer to take the small boats even if they do not know how to swim.