At least 33 dead in Nigeria boat capsize: emergency services

Kano - 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 Baguda area of 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.

"Eighty-four passengers were rescued by Nigerian and Nigerien rescue officials and the assistance of local divers," he told AFP.

"Thirty-three bodies were salvaged from the river while 23 are still missing.

"Having spent two days on the water, we presume they are all dead."

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 of the capsize were calm, despite the rainy season, which earlier this week saw the authorities in Niger warn about potential flooding.

"Rivers are full which makes boat mishaps more likely. But in this case, overloading was a factor," said Karim.

Capsizes are a frequent occurence in Nigeria, where overcrowding is common and unscrupulous operators flout health and safety norms.

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

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
33% - 395 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
67% - 820 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.30
-1.3%
Rand - Pound
20.59
-0.5%
Rand - Euro
17.32
-1.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.88
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.0%
Gold
1,834.68
-0.0%
Silver
23.67
-2.6%
Palladium
2,148.00
+1.7%
Platinum
1,017.00
-1.6%
Brent Crude
87.89
-0.6%
Top 40
65,653
-3.7%
All Share
72,164
-3.6%
Resource 10
71,479
-4.6%
Industrial 25
90,959
-3.4%
Financial 15
14,713
-2.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE