Over a hundred people have been reported missing after a boat capsized at Corner Libata in Ingaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
About 180 persons were said to have been aboard the boat which capsized 30 minutes after taking off from Loko Mina in Niger State.
The boat left central Niger state and was heading to northwest Kebbi state when it split and 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,” Wara said. “We are talking of around 140 passengers still missing.”
Wara blamed the Kebbi accident on overloading as the boat was meant to ferry not more than 80 passengers.
Speaking on the development, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello who described the incident as unfortunate sympathized with the families, relatives, and close associates of those who died in the mishap.
The Victims, most of whom are traders were said to be heading to a market in Kebbi State when the accident took place.
Authorities say search and rescue operations are ongoing.
Earlier, the Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency, Ahmed Inga said local swimmers had been employed to carry out rescue missions in the area where the boat upturned.
The vessel was also loaded with bags of sand from a gold mine, the official said.
Cases of boat mishaps in Niger State have been on the rise in recent years.
Early this month 30 people drowned when an overloaded boat capsized in central Niger state.
The boat ferrying 100 local traders split into two after hitting a stump during a storm as they were returning from a local market, according to emergency officials.
Between 2019 and 2020, at least 50 people lost their lives on the Malale River following incidents of boat mishaps.
With AFP report
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