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Rabu, 26 Mei 2021

Scores missing and feared dead after boat carrying 165 sinks on Niger River in Nigeria - ABC News

More than 100 people are missing and feared dead after a Nigerian riverboat with more than 165 passengers, including women and children, broke up and sank.

Twenty-two people were rescued and five bodies recovered, including a baby less than one year old, in the hours after the sinking on Wednesday local time, Kebbi State Emergency Management Agency chairman, Sani Dododo, said.

Mr Dododo said the mother of the infant had not been identified.

Eleven rescue boats and divers were searching for about 138 missing passengers.

One passenger rescued from the boat, Shehu Bello, said five children were with him when the boat sank and all of them were still missing.

"Two of the children are mine, while the other three are the children of my brother," he said.

Mr Bello said the boat broke apart suddenly and then started to sink.

It was unclear what caused the boat to break up as it was traveling on the Niger River from Nigeria's Niger state to the town of Wara in Kebbi state.

Qasimu Umar Wara, a resident of Wara town, said many of the passengers were returning from a newly discovered gold vein in Niger.

"They usually go there in the evenings and return to Wara in the morning," he said.

"Most of them are petty traders, food vendors and the local miners." 

Boat accidents are common in Nigeria, especially along the Niger River, due to overloading, poor conditions of the boats and collisions with debris under water.

AP

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2021-05-27 00:18:38Z
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