Map of Democratic Republic of Congo
Map of Democratic Republic of Congo

A boat accident in the western Democratic Republic of Congo has killed at least 73 people.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says the cargo boat was carrying passengers as well as logs went it sank in Lake Mai-Ndombe.

Local reports say the vessel was not authorized to carry passengers.

The Red Cross says Saturday 272 people survived.  Others remain missing and it is feared their bodies are trapped underneath the sunken barge.

The vessels went down in bad weather Wednesday night.

Boat accidents are fairly common in the Democratic Republic of Congo because vessels are often overloaded and not properly maintained.

The country has many rivers but few paved roads, forcing many people to rely on boats for transportation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.