30 bodies found after a boat accident in Kebbi


People see rescue teams searching for survivors on the Niger River after the boat capsizes

The boat came from Lokonmina, a commercial city in central Niger

At least 30 were pulled out of a river where boats carrying more than 150 passengers sank in Nigeria.

Officials said only 20 people were rescued when the ferry traveling between the northwestern states of Niger and Kebbi split into two.

Yusuf Burma, head of the National Inland Waterways Authority (Niwa) in Kebbi, told the BBC that 30 bodies had been recovered so far.

“There is no hope of finding a survivor at this time,” he said.

The true death toll may never be known. According to some reports, the boat carried up to 200 people, mainly women and children.

Burma said the boat was not loaded on the designated pier, so there was no manifest to know the exact number on board.

“It was intended to carry between 131 and 150, but certainly not up to the 180 quoted,” he told the BBC.

He said some of the boat operators who didn’t want to pay taxes didn’t load the pier, but preferred to pick passengers along the way because they weren’t regulated.

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Another official who oversees the rescue operation told AFP news agency that 45 bodies had been found so far.

“I was deeply shocked and saddened by the unfortunate boat accident that claimed the lives of more than 100 passengers,” the governor tweeted.

Waterway authorities that regulate water transport in Nigeria said the boats were crowded and got off an hour after the trip.

Authorities have accused the boat of overloading, as it reportedly carried bags of sand from gold mines and motorcycles.

This is the second accident in the region this month, after at least 28 people were drowned when a boat capsized in Niger two weeks ago.

President Muhammadu Buhari described the accident as “catastrophic” and expressed his condolences to the victims’ families.

Kasim Umar Wara, a resident of the nearby town of Wara, said more bodies were expected to be washed away in the future.

The boat was overloaded and “my brother is one of the missing people. This is the worst boat accident in the ocean,” he said.

Rescue on the river after a capsized boat in Nigeria

Relatives gathered along the river for news of their loved ones

Boat accidents along the Niger River are common due to overcrowding and collisions with underwater tree trunks.

In Nigeria, night sailing, wearing life jackets, and overloading boats are criminal offenses, but ferry companies often ignore regulations.

Boat captains and ferry owners are rarely charged with death due to behavior such as overloading.

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