At least 26 dead after boat capsizes on Lake Tanganyika in Congo

LUBUMBASHI, DR Congo (AFP) - At least 26 people drowned after a boat packed with passengers and goods capsized on Lake Tanganyika in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said Saturday.

The vessel, which was travelling north from Kalemie in Katanga province to Uvira in South Kivu province, sank in the early hours of Friday, survivors speaking by telephone from Katanga's capital Lubumbashi told AFP.

Some 221 passengers were rescued, said Katanga's transport minister Laurent Kahozi Sumba, adding the boat appeared to be carrying excess weight.

Deadly shipwrecks are frequent on the lakes and rivers of DRC, where boats are often overloaded, life jackets frequently missing and many people cannot swim.

Lake Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake in the world and also borders Tanzania, as well as Burundi and Zambia.

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