At least sixty people have drowned after a boat capsized in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials say.

Some three hundred people have been rescued but as many as two hundred others are unaccounted for following the accident on the Congo River, officials added.

Locals said the boat hit a rock east of the capital, Kinshasa, while travelling at night, which is prohibited.

Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Steve Mbikayi told BBC that he had received reports that the boat was overloaded and had been carrying passengers at night in breach of the law.

The boat was headed for Mbandaka, the capital of DR Congo’s Equateur province, around 700 kilometres from Kinshasa.