21 feared dead in Nigeria capsize: emergency services

Emergency services and rescue workers said on Tuesday that twenty-one people are missing, feared dead, after their boat capsized in northern Nigeria.

The vessel is believed to have been carrying 30 traders and their wares. It overturned in high winds on a river in the Isa district of northwestern Sokoto state during a heavy rains on Saturday.

Suleiman Karim  of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) told AFP that Eight passengers were rescued and the body of one of the passengers was recovered.

“The boat was overloaded with goods and passengers,” he said, adding that their rescue operations were hampered due to the strong currents in the swollen river.

According to AFP report a rescue worker and a local diver involved in the search believe 21 passengers have died.

“We may call off the search anytime soon because it is obvious the people must have drowned,” said the diver, who gave his name only as Lawwali.

Unfortunately capsizes have become a norm in Nigeria due to overcrowding and badly maintained vessels, especially during the rainy season.

Just last year in September, 56 people drowned after an overloaded boat carrying more than 100 traders from Niger capsized in the Bagudu area of Kebbi state, also in northwest Nigeria.

Photo Credit- Hindustan Times

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