“Rescue Operation Underway” – Boat With 200 Passengers Sinks In Nigeria
Dozens of people are missing in north-western Nigeria after a boat carrying 200 capsized on Wednesday, according to Reuters, citing a state spokesperson.
“The boat was ferrying about 200 passengers” coming from the neighboring country of Niger, said Yahaya Sarki, a spokesperson for the governor of Kebbi.
“Their locally made wooden boat capsized mid-water,” Sarki said. “Bodies are still being recovered. We can’t ascertain the number for now.”
The boat was reportedly overloaded when it suddenly snapped into two in the middle of the Niger River.
Reports of how many people on board vary from news agency to news agency—some say between 160 and 200.
Authorities in Kebbi State told the BBC that first responders had been dispatched to the scene to search for survivors.
“A rescue operation is underway, but only 22 survivors and one dead body have been recovered,” a local official reportedly said.
Qasimu Umar Wara, a resident of Wara town, told Reuters the passengers were returning from a newly-discovered gold vein in Niger.
“They usually go there in the evenings and return to Wara in the morning,” he said. “Most of them are petty traders, food vendors and the local miners.”
The wooden boat is reportedly rated for 80 passengers, and the accident is likely due to overloading.
Wed, 05/26/2021 – 18:00