More than 150 individuals have been lacking and feared drowned in northwest Nigeria on Wednesday after an overloaded boat ferrying passengers to a market sank within the Niger River, native officers stated.
The boat was travelling between central Niger state and Wara in northwest Kebbi state when it went down, National Inland Waterways Authority native supervisor Yusuf Birma instructed reporters.
“The boat capacity was not up to the 180 passengers it carried,” Birma stated.
“As we speak, only 20 people have been rescued alive, four dead confirmed while the remaining 156 people are still missing and they are believed to be underwater.”
Another official had earlier stated round 140 individuals have been lacking after the Wednesday morning catastrophe.
Boat tragedies are widespread on Nigerian waterways principally as a result of overcrowding, dangerous climate and lack of upkeep, however Wednesday’s toll can be one of many deadliest current accidents.
“The boat involved was a wooden boat which was old and very weak but these people (skippers) would not listen when we sensitised them to reduce the number of passengers they carry in their boats,” Birma stated.
He stated passengers have been heading to a market in Malele in Borgu native authorities space of Niger state, when the boat sank an hour into the journey.
Local district administrator Abdullahi Buhari Wara earlier blamed the accident on overloading because the boat was meant to ferry not more than 80 passengers.
The vessel was additionally loaded with baggage of sand from a gold mine, he stated.
Early this month 30 individuals drowned when an overloaded boat capsized in Niger state.
The boat ferrying 100 native merchants cut up into two after hitting a stump throughout a storm as they have been getting back from a neighborhood market, in line with emergency officers.
The Niger is West Africa’s fundamental river working in a crescent via Guinea to Nigeria’s Niger Delta and is a key native commerce route for a number of the nations.
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