33 dead as overloaded boat capsizes in Nigeria
KANO, NIGERIA: At least 33 people drowned after an overloaded boat carrying traders from Niger capsized in northwest Nigeria, the National Emergency Management (NEMA) said on Friday.
They were travelling from Gaya in the Dosso region of southern Niger to Lolo, in the Kebbi state, when the accident happened on Wednesday morning.
NEMA coordinator Suleiman Mohammed Karim said the boat had a capacity of 70 passengers but survivors said 150 people and their goods were on board.
Cross-border trade is common in the remote area, with traders mainly travelling to markets from Niger to Nigeria to buy and sell goods from grain to livestock.
Weather conditions at the time were calm, despite the rainy season, which earlier this week saw the authorities in Niger warn about potential flooding.
Capsizes are a frequent occurence in Nigeria, where unscrupulous operators flout health and safety norms.