Sarah Thompson
Mon, Sep 11, 2023 8:10 PM

Nigeria Mourns as Death Toll Rises in Riverboat Tragedy

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Nigeria Mourns as Death Toll Rises in Riverboat Tragedy
The death toll in the recent riverboat tragedy in Nigeria has risen to 28, with dozens of people still missing. The boat capsized on the Niger River while carrying around 100 passengers, mostly women and children. Rescue efforts are ongoing, as communities mobilize to search for the missing individuals. This tragic incident highlights the increasing concerns about boat accidents in Nigeria, where rivers serve as vital transportation routes for many remote communities.

ABUYA, Nigeria (AP) -- The number of deaths in the recent riverboat tragedy in Nigeria has increased to 28, as reported by emergency services on Monday. The boat sank on the Niger River on Sunday morning, carrying around 100 people, mostly women and children. They were heading to their crops in the community of Gbajibo, approximately 251 kilometers (156 miles) from Minna, the state capital and the nearest center for rescue operations.

Due to the remote location, it took several hours for emergency crews to arrive, and villagers in the area are keeping watch for any bodies floating in the river, said Ibrahim Audu, spokesman for the Niger State Emergency Management Agency.

Divers recovered four more bodies from the river on Monday morning, and an estimated 40 passengers are still missing, according to Audu. Thirty individuals have been rescued so far.

"We have instructed all communities to remain vigilant and report any sightings of bodies," he added.

Niger State Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago described the accident as "shocking and regrettable" and directed local emergency services to aid the affected individuals, according to a statement issued by his office. He reiterated the importance of wearing life jackets and avoiding overcrowded boats.

Concerns about boat accidents in Nigeria have been growing, as the country's population continues to rise. Many remote and riverine communities heavily rely on rivers as their only reliable means of transportation.

As of now, there is no explanation for what caused the riverboat tragedy, but emergency services have suggested that it could be due to overcrowding, the condition of the boat, or a collision with an object in the water.

This devastating incident serves as a somber reminder of the need for improved safety measures and regulations in Nigeria's river transport system. Efforts should be made to raise awareness about the importance of life jackets and ensure that boats are maintained in proper working conditions.

The government, alongside relevant agencies, should also consider implementing stricter controls and inspections to prevent such accidents in the future.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims' families and the affected communities as they mourn the loss of their loved ones. The nation grieves with them during this difficult time.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-11 News

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