Cruise Ship Sinking

Cruise Ship Sinking
Dieu Merci Congo Ferry 25-Nov-2003

Dieu Merci Collision, Mai-Indombe Congo Ferries Collided, ferry carrying 290 people sank.

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Dieu Merci, Collision, Mai-Indombe Congo Ferry, 25-Nov-2003

The Congo Ferry Dieu Merci one of many Congo Ferries Collided another Ferry, the Dieu Merci Carrying 290 People Sank.

Congolese ferries are notorious for overcrowding and poor maintenance, supported here by the transport ministry who said one of the ferries engines was not working.

The Dieu Merci's owner, Ntomba Nzondo, said already 120 bodies had been found buried and he thanked God only the one double-hulled ferry sank.

Later a DR Congo minister said that 163 bodies were recovered from Lake Mayi Ndombe, about 400 kilometres (248 miles) north-east of the capital.

Relief efforts

Didier Bontange, a doctor with the French aid agency Medicines Sans Frontieres who was in the area when the disaster occurred, co-ordinated the relief effort, helped by students from a local medical school.

A United Nations helicopter was sent in attempt to help, but humanitarian personnel on board said they only saw floating wreckage and bundles of traders' goods.

Lake Mayi Ndombe is 2,300km sq lake that doubles or triples in size during the rainy season, which had just started.

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