Sunday, September 29, 2013

42 die, 100 missing in River Niger boat mishap

 A boat mishap has occurred on the River Niger close to Malilli village in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State, claiming no fewer than 42 lives. It was gathered that the 42 were passengers on board the ill-fated boat drowned, while 100 others have been declared missing.
 The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the mishap occurred about 2 pm last Friday, quoting the Public Relations Officer, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Malam Ibrahim Hussaini as confirming the incident in a telephone interview yesterday.Hussaini said the incident occurred about 2 pm when the traders were returning from Malili village to Tunga Illo village across the River Niger, after the day’s market. He said the details were sketchy, but the boat, which had over 150 passengers on board capsized midway.

 The SEMA spokesman said local divers from Malili village had recovered 42 corpses, while efforts were being intensified to rescue possible survivors or retrieve corpses of those who drowned.
“At the moment search and rescue is ongoing on the river. I will give the details of the incident later, but the agency has dispatched its officers to assist the villagers in the rescue efforts,” he said.
Hussaini said the recovered corpses would be given mass burial close to the river bank, adding that neighbouring villages had been alerted to look out for floating corpses. The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Saidu Ndako, also confirmed the boat mishap.
“I received the information late in the night that a boat had capsized and 42 persons have drowned in the incident, while rescue operation is ongoing. “We believe that the boat was overloaded because the boat’s capacity was put at 60 passengers, but over 150 passengers were said to be on board during the incident.“The debris in the swollen river may also have been responsible for the incident,’’ Ndako said.
 Ndako said the state government condoled with the families of victims, and prayed that Allah grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.


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