The Democratic Republic of the Congo announced today, Thursday, that at least 145 people are missing after a boat they were on board sank in the northwest of the country, amid fears of their death.

The accident occurred near the town of Basankusu late on Tuesday, when a motorized boat carrying goods and animals capsized in the Lulonga River.

The Associated Press quoted local officials as saying that about 55 people had survived the disaster.

At least 145 people are missing and "we fear their death," Jean-Pierre Wangela, head of civil society groups in the region, said at a news conference, blaming the boat's overloading for the sinking.

He added that residents have few options, as there is currently no other means of transportation in Basankuso district.

According to the Anadolu Agency, the sinking of boats, which caused dozens of deaths, is very common in remote areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, knowing that rescue operations are very limited.

Last October, more than 40 people drowned in the Congo River in the western province of Equateur in similar circumstances.