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40 missing after boat accident in Kebbi

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A boat carrying 50 people has capsized in Yauri Local Government, Kebbi State with 40 passengers unaccounted for.

The boat capsized on Monday around noon while it ferried passengers to the Yauri weekly market.

PREMIUM TIMES learned that the boat was coming from Kasabo in Agura Local Government in Niger State to Yauri in Kebbi. The two states share an expansive boundary covering about eight local governments.

The boat capsized due to intense water waves in the Niger River, Bala Mohammed, the chairman of Yauri told Radio Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi.

He said only 10 passengers have been rescued.

Mr Mohammed said rescue operations are still ongoing in the river.

But the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) said the boat was carrying only 22 passengers and none has been recovered yet.

The Director General of the agency, Salihu Garba, told journalists in Minna, the Niger State capital, that local divers were conducting search and rescue operations under the agency’s supervision.

Riverine states in the country are witnessing a resurgence of boat mishaps this rainy season. Monday’s mishap is coming a few weeks after the Niger accident 26 people lost their lives in another Niger State boat accident while 15 died in another incident recorded in Adamawa State.
States like Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Adamawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Kano witness a high rate of boat mishaps which are blamed on several reasons including lack of life jackets, overloading of boats, and violations of safety reasons among others.
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