Congo Drowning Victims Identified

Post a Comment » Written on May 31st, 2007     
Filed under: News
GEMENA, CONGO (May 31, 2007) – The Congo Covenant Church (CEUM) plans to hold a day of fasting and prayer in memory of the 18 people who drowned May 20 when their dugout canoes capsized. The date has not been set, but the church has released on Wednesday the names of those killed.

Sixteen of the victims—as young as eight years old—were members of a CEUM youth choir. The other two fatalities were chaperones.

According to a report from the CEUM, the choir had visited 2 towns, Kaya and Duranga, as a part of a church planting program on the east side of the Uele River.

“At about 2:30 PM on Sunday, the choir started to cross the river in dugout canoes. The sky was clear and calm. When they were in the middle of the river, a violent whirlwind came from the forest along with fire or lightning, and the canoes tipped over.  People tried to save the choir members in the water, but it wasn’t until the next day that the bodies were found.”

The accident occurred roughly nine miles from Wasolo, in the northwest portion of Congo. Seven CEUM leaders traveled two days to comfort the families and work with investigators.

Canoes are a common form of transportation in Congo, which has only 370 miles of paved road “in a country roughly the size of western Europe,” according to Reuters.

Fourteen of the deceased were girls or young women. Most of the victims were in their teens or twenties:

Jolie Yangombe Yazela, 8
Mireille Ngenza Mbume, 12
Nadine Talenzia Tongonze, 13
Chantal Yawatolo Ngenza, 17
Léa Songba Ngbabezwa, 17
Seraphin Kawe Kopele, 17
Fiemba Yangbaka, 18
Sédric Kilo Yagengendo, 19
Elise Legeya Sambia, 20
Belinda Luate Wawa, 20
Pelagie Gezonke Yagbele, 20
Irene Wongbo Yasepu, 22
Cabibi Yakosolo Yongoro, 23
Martena Yangangbo Yegbia, 23
Marie Tagbia Kebo, 27
Jean Pierre Diacre Gongo, 31
Gbelingbo Gbandembo, 31
Wongbo Yasepu, age unknown
A benevolent fund will be set up by World Mission to assist the families of choir members, who along with their grieving face the hardship of paying for funeral expenses. For more information, contact Byron Amundsen at Covenant World Mission, 5101 N. Francisco, Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625; 773-907-3317.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog