At least five people were missing Wednesday in the centre of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the day after the collapse of a bridge which gave way to the passage of a truck, we learned from concordant sources.
According to witnesses, the Lovua bridge, over the river of the same name, gave way when the truck, too heavily laden with construction materials, crossed it on its way to Tshikapa, the capital of Kasai province.
"The truck had ten people on board. One of them refused to cross on board this machine but the others were stubborn", explained the head of the sector where the accident occurred, Hubert Mbombo.
According to him, the truck with its nine occupants, as well as the bridge, which had been badly damaged for several years, fell into the river. The bodies of the victims have not been found.
Guy Mafuta, MP for Kasaï, meanwhile put the number of missing at seven and the vice-governor, Gaston Nkole, at five – two men, a woman and two children. According to Mr Nkole, interviewed by AFP, the vehicle was carrying some 30 tons of cement and stones, while the bridge was designed to support 10 to 15 tons.
The collapse of road bridges, in poor condition and used by heavy loads are frequent in the DRC, especially during the rainy season.