At least four people have died and another 150 are missing after a boat wrecked in the area of the Niger River that crosses the state of Kebi, in the northwest of the country, the Nigerian authorities have reported.
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One of the heads of the National Inland Roads Authority (NIWA), Yusuf Birma, explained that the accident was due to the overweight suffered by the boat in which he believes about 180 people and about 30 motorcycles were traveling, while his capacity was 80 passengers.
“The victims were going to a market in Malele in the Borgu local government area in Niger state from Kebbi and the incident occurred just an hour after the journey began,” Birma told the Daily Trust newspaper.
“The rescue operations continue their course, but there are four dead and 156 missing,” has detailed Burma, who has confirmed the rescue of twenty people still alive, but there can be no more.
“The capacity of the ship does not exceed the 180 passengers it was carrying. The boat involved is made of wood, old and very weak, but these people do not listen when we ask them to reduce the number of passengers,” he lamented.
“There are many people in the river who have to be rescued, ” said the administrative head of Ngaski, Abdullahi Buhari Warra, to the service of Hausa (language spoken in northern Nigeria) of the British channel BBC in statements collected by local media.
“In fact, many people have died and no one can know precisely their number. We were only able to rescue 22 people who have been rushed to the General Hospital of Warra to receive medical attention,” he explained. “We were also able to recover a corpse of a girl,” said Warra, who stressed that the ship was overloaded.
He was sailing at twice his capacity
“It was supposed to carry only 80 people, but it was carrying about 180, including sandbags,” added the source.
Kebbi police spokesman Nafi’u Abubakar told the “Premium Times” newspaper that the body sent a team to the area on a rescue mission. “The rescue operation is ongoing and the details of the unfortunate incident will be communicated later,” Abubakar added.
The event occurred after at least 28 people died and 65 were rescued after a ship sank on the 8th in the state of Niger. Boat rollovers are frequent on Nigerian waterways due to overloading and lack of maintenance , especially in the rainy season.