The Mercury

30 drown when boat capsizes


THIRTY people drowned when an overloaded boat capsized in central Nigeria’s Niger state, an emergency official said yesterday.

The boat, carrying 100 local traders, split in two after smashing into a stump during high winds on its return from a market on Saturday, said Ibrahim Audu Hussein, spokespers­on for the state’s emergency agency.

The accident occurred at village in Munya district.

“So far 30 bodies have been recovered and five are still missing,” Hussein said. “Sixty-five passengers were rescued with the help of local divers.”

Heavy rains were hampering the search.

Local media said some of the victims were people displaced by recent violence in the state.

President Muhammadu Buhari commended the emergency services and the divers for their response and urged Nigeria’s transporta­tion authoritie­s to beef up policing of safety regulation­s on the waterways.

Boat capsizes are common in Nigeria, mainly because of overcrowdi­ng and lack of maintenanc­e.


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