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Boat Fire At Congo River Port Claims Over 20 Lives



More than 20 persons have been reported dead and 11 others severely burnt after a vessel caught fire at a port on the Congo River, in DR Congo.

Interior Minister, Didier Tenge, told a local radio station that the Sunday accident happened around 13:00 local time at the Ngafura Port, in the outskirts of the capital, Kinshasa.

The vessel was loaded with flammable products and was heading upstream to Équateur province, according to Papy Epiana, a member of the local provincial assembly.

Boarding of cargo vessels by passengers is prohibited in the country, Mr Tenge said.

The injured are being treated at a nearby hospital with third degree burns.

Many people use boats to travel long distances in DR Congo because of its poor road network.

Passengers have to wait for days, sometimes weeks before finding a vessel to travel on the Congo River and its tributaries.

Deadly boat accidents are common because of overcrowding.

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