Many Feared Dead As Boat Carrying 170 Passengers Sinks In River Niger
A boat carrying about 170 people has sank in the River Niger on Wednesday, May 26, with many passengers feared dead.
According to The Gazette, a police spokesman in Kebbi stated that officers have received information that a boat that departed Niger State capsized on its way to Kebbi.
The official stated;
We learnt that more than 170 people were on the boat. We are trying to confirm fatalities at this moment.
The boat left central Niger state and was heading to northwest Kebbi state when it sank, Abdullahi Buhari Wara, administrative head of Ngaski district said.
A rescue operation is underway but only 22 survivors and one dead body have been recovered. We are talking of around 140 passengers still missing.
According to AFP, Wara blamed the Kebbi accident on overloading as the boat was meant to ferry not more than 80 passengers.
The vessel was also loaded with bags of sand from a gold mine, the official said.
The passengers were said to be mostly women and children, although the actual figures were yet unclear, as at the time of filing this report.
The incident comes weeks after a boat capsized in Niger, killing about 30 people.