Nearly 100 people are feared missing in the Central African Republic after a boat caught fire and sank on a river in the impoverished country earlier in the week, officials said on Thursday.

The accident occurred on Monday, after a boat carrying an estimated 100 people left the capital Bangui on the Oubangui River. Some 125 kilometres downstream, the boat’s motor exploded, starting a fire that quickly engulfed the vessel as terrified passengers jumped overboard, an official with the country’s naval forces told AFP.