DR Congo: 7 dead, 23 missing in canoe accident

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Seven diamond miners died and another 23 were missing after two canoes capsized in central Democratic Republic of Congo, government and mining officials said on Friday.

Local official Kerozene Kabongo said the canoes were carrying miners who dive for diamonds in the Kasai river on Thursday when they overturned in high winds, 15 km east of Tshikapa city.

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“Two canoes transporting our colleagues capsized yesterday (Thursday) in the Kasai river. We found seven bodies and 23 people are still missing,” said Fernand Kalala, a representative of a local diamond mining association.

“Only seven people managed to swim back to shore.”

Accidents and deaths are common in the numerous unlicensed mining operations in the DRC which has significant reserves of gold, diamonds and precious metals.

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