More than 150 people missing since the sinking of an overloaded boat carrying some 180 passengers in northwest Nigeria, on the Niger River, are “presumed dead”, local authorities said on Wednesday.
“The boat’s capacity was far less than the 180 passengers it was carrying,” local waterways manager Yusuf Birma told reporters. At this time, only 20 people have been found alive, four have died and the remaining 156 are still missing and considered to be engulfed. “
Frequent shipwrecks during the rainy season
The boat came from Niger (Central) State and was heading for Kebbi State, when it was wrecked. The old assessment of the local authorities reported about twenty survivors out of about 160 passengers, or some 140 missing.
During the rainy season, capsized boats are common on Nigeria’s rivers and streams, where ships are often overloaded and poorly maintained.