No fewer than 42 people were on Friday drowned in a boat mishap on River Niger close to Malilli village in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger. One hundred others on board were missing in the mishap which occurred at about 2 pm.
The Public Relation Officer, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Hussaini, who confirm the incident said the incident occurred around 2 pm when the traders were returning from Malili village back to Tunga Illo village across the River Niger, after the day‚Äôs market.
He said the details were sketchy, but the boat which had over 150 passengers capsized midway and drowned 42 people, while 100 others were missing.
The spokesman said that local divers from Malili village had recovered 42 corpses, while efforts were being intensified to rescue possible survivors or the corpse of those drowned.
“At the moment search and rescue is ongoing on the river. “I will make the details of the incident later, but the agency has dispatch its officers to assist the villagers in the rescue efforts,‚Äô‚Äô he said.
Hassaini said the recovered corpses would be given mass burial close to the river bank, adding that neighbouring villages had been alerted to look out for floating corpses.
The Secretary to the State Government, Saidu Ndako, confirmed the boat mishap.
“I received the information late in the night that a boat had capsized and 42 persons have drowned in the incident, while rescue operation is ongoing. We believe that the boat was overload because the boat‚Äôs capacity was put at 60 passengers, but over 150 passengers were said to be on board during the incident. The debris in the swollen river may also have been responsible for the incident,‚Äô‚Äô Ndako said.
Ndako said that the government condoled with the family of those who had lost their loved ones, and pray that Allah grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
In another incident, no fewer than 11 people were on Saturday¬†killed in a renewed¬†attack in Zangang village in Attakar Chiefdom, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Sources say gunmen attacked the village early in the morning, leaving¬†several houses completely burnt.
A resident of the village, Isuwa Jiga, told newsmen that more corpses were likely to be discovered as many residents were still missing.¬† “We have not seen some of our family members yet,‚Äô‚Äô Jiga said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP. Aminu Lawal, confirmed the incident and said that a combined team of security operatives¬†had been deployed¬†to the area.
It would be recalled that Zangang village had¬†witnessed three consecutive attacks since the beginning of this year, while several lives and property were lost in the attacks.