A rescue agency spokesman has reported that 29 people were killed on Tuesday in Kano State after their overloaded boat, which was carrying almost 50 passengers, capsized. Most of the passengers were children aged eight to 15.
“We have recovered 29 bodies… and rescued seven passengers,” said Kano state’s fire service spokesman Saminu Abdullahi on Wednesday as quoted by AFP. “The search for the remaining 13 bodies is ongoing.”
Mr Abdullah added that the boat was severely overloaded as it “meant to ferry 12 adults but the skipper packed such a number of children onboard.”
The children were from Badau village in Kano. They were looking to attend a religious ceremony held in Bagwai a town on the opposite side of the river where they drowned.
Boat accidents are a common occurrence in Nigeria. They are mostly caused by overcrowding, the very same reason the 29 died, as well as bad weather and poor maintenance.
Seven girls aged between 10 and 12 reportedly drowned in the neighbouring state of Jigawa when the boat they were on also gave up on sailing last month. 13 wedding guests died in Sokoto state in June after their boat capsized.
“So far 30 bodies have been recovered and five are still missing,” Hussein said following the incident that occurred at Tijana village in Munya district.
“Sixty-five passengers were rescued with the help of local divers.”