18 dead in Nigeria boat accidents: emergency services

2017-09-19 20:00
Flag and map of Nigeria. (iStock)

Flag and map of Nigeria. (iStock)

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Kano - Eighteen people drowned in boat accidents in Nigeria last weekend, the emergency services said on Tuesday, nearly a week after more than 50 died when an overloaded craft capsized.

Twelve people lost their lives on Saturday when their boat capsized during heavy rainfall on the River Kaduna, in the Shiroro district of central Niger state.

The head of the Niger state emergency management agency, Ahmed Ibrahim Inga, said the passengers were heading to a local market in Kwata-Zuma village at the time.

"So far, 12 bodies have been removed from the river, while 18 passengers were rescued by marine police and local divers," he told AFP.

"The passengers were from villages in neighbouring Kaduna state."

Six farmers drowned when their canoe turned over on the River Benue in the northeastern state of Taraba on Sunday.

"The canoe broke into two when it hit a (tree) stump. Six farmers died while four were rescued," said Yahuza Yayau, chairperson of the Gassol local government district.

"We don't know how many people were in the canoe which is why divers continue with the search for more bodies because more people could have drowned," he added.

Last Wednesday, 33 people drowned after a boat carrying traders from the Dosso region of the republic of Niger capsized on the River Niger in Kebbi state, northwest Nigeria.

Suleiman Mohammed Karim, from the National Emergency Management Agency, said at the time that 84 people were pulled alive from the water.

A search for 23 other people missing after the accident had since been called off, he said on Tuesday.

"So far, no more bodies have been recovered and we presume the 23 missing are also dead" taking the death toll to 56, he added.

Capsizes happen frequently in Nigeria due to overcrowding and inadequately maintained vessels, particularly during the annual rainy season.

In August, 12 people were killed when a passenger boat capsized in the commercial hub of Lagos, in the country's southwest.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

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