At least 31 people were killed after a passenger bus veered off the road and burst into flames in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country’s humanitarian affairs minister told CNN Monday.
The bus, traveling from Lufu in Mbanza-Ngungu territory, was heading to the capital Kinshasa when its brakes failed Sunday, causing the vehicle to explode on impact, Steve Mbikayi said.
“At least 31 people are dead so far, and 18 people are wounded. The driver lost control and the bus overturned and caught fire,” Mbikayi said.
According to the minister, some of the passengers were also carrying fuel, worsening the fire.
Mbikayi told CNN that those injured are receiving treatment at a hospital close to the scene of the crash but health officials were working to transport them to better health care facilities in the capital.
Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi canceled his trip to Japan following the incident and has ordered an investigation into the crash, Cabinet minister Vital Kamerhe said in a statement.
Tshisekedi sent his condolences to the affected families and has directed the Mbanza-Ngungu provincial government to provide medical assistance to those injured and help with burial plans for those who were killed, he added.