At Least 10 Killed In Kebbi Boat Accident

Authorities say the boat broke into two because it was overloaded.

File photo of a boat that broke into two.



At least ten persons died on Wednesday after a boat carrying more than 100 women and children broke apart on a river in Kebbi State.

A local official who spoke to AFP earlier said the vessel, ferrying passengers returning from a farm on the River Niger, broke in half as it approached Samanaji village in Koko-Besse district.

It had been overloaded with passengers “beyond its capacity,” said Yahaya Bello Koko, the political administrator of the district.

“We have recovered 10 passengers with the help of local divers while searches for 10 others still missing” continue, said Koko.

“The 10 missing are presumed to have drowned, considering the long hours they have spent in the river.”

More than 80 passengers were rescued, he added.

Speaking on the incident, police spokesman in Kebbi, Nafiu Abubakar, said there are still operations in progress to see if those missing can be recovered.

Capsizes are common on Nigerian waterways due to frequent overloading and lack of maintenance.

In May 2021 around 100 traders drowned when their boat ruptured because of overloading and sank in the same river, according to Kebbi state officials.