Hundreds feared missing after boat sinks in Lake Tanganyika

African migrants stranded on a boat coming from Libya wait for rescue services, near Sfax, on the Tunisian coast, on June 4, 2011. Between 200 and 270 migrants fleeing the conflict in neighbouring Libya went missing on June 2 off of Tunisia, while nearly 600 others were rescued alive after their boat capsized. AFP PHOTO / HAFIDH (Photo credit should read HAFIDH/AFP)

No fewer than 200 people were feared missing after a boat sank in Democratic Republic of Congo’s waters by Lake Tanganyika, a senior Tanzanian official said on Monday.

The Congolese Government said in a statement on Monday that it had sent a mission led by Transport Minister Kalumba Ngongo to the scene of the accident at the south of Kalemie.

It said that at least 26 people had died and authorities had rescued 221 people after the boat sank in the vast lake.

It 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 over 100 people had died.

Tanzanian authorities said that 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 newsmen.

Mr. Kaniki attributed the information to the head of the Tanzanian marine police.

(Reuters/NAN)

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