Congo Boat Catches Fire, Capsizes

An overcrowded riverboat carrying hundreds of passengers and fuel drums caught fire in the Congo on Saturday evening, capsizing and killing up to 200 people. As the tragedy unfolded, according to survivors, local fisherman witnessing the scene chose not to help rescue passengers jumping overboard, instead attempting to steal supplies on board. “Fishermen attacked the boat and started beating passengers with paddles as they were (trying) to loot goods,” said one survivor. Though it’s not clear what caused the engine to catch fire, or how many people were on board, such riverboats are well-known to often be in poor repair, overfilled, and manned by unskilled workers. Two of the vessel’s sailors have already been arrested, and the boat’s owner has reportedly requested that its manager be arrested as well.