Africa

Death toll from boat capsizing in Nigeria rises to 29

Boat carrying 50 passengers, mostly seminary students, overturns in Kano State's Badau River due to overloading

Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu   | 01.12.2021
Death toll from boat capsizing in Nigeria rises to 29 FILE PHOTO

KANO, Nigeria

At least 29 people are confirmed dead after a boat capsized in northwestern Nigeria’s Kano state, security sources said late Wednesday.

Nine more bodies were retrieved after the passenger boat capsized Tuesday evening in the Bagwai River due to overloading, Abdullahi Kiyawa, a spokesman for the Kano State Police Command, said in a statement.

Officials said Wednesday that at least 50 passengers were on board the ill-fated boat.

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said earlier in a statement that as of Wednesday morning, there were 20 deaths, seven people hospitalized and another eight people had been found alive, and a rescue operation was still going on.

The boat was ferrying around 50 people from Hayin Badau to Bagwai on their way to attend a Maulud celebration, or Muslim festival, Ganduje said, adding most of them were seminary students.

"I urge boat operators to always take the issue of overloading very seriously," he said.

An eyewitness, Salmanu Badau, told Anadolu Agency by phone that the majority of the passengers were women and children.

He noted that the victims of the tragic incident died in the river because they were unable to swim to the riverbank and were not wearing life jackets.

*Zehra Nur Duz contributed to the story from Ankara

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