At least 29 people, most of them children on their way to a religious ceremony, died and 13 others are missing after a boat capsized in northern Nigeria, local authorities said.
Tragic shipwreck: at least 29 dead, most of them children
The victims were pupils of a Koranic school in the town of Badau, who were attending a religious ceremony in a village on the other side of the Bagwai River.
“We have recovered 29 bodies since yesterday (Tuesday) night and saved seven people. Search efforts to find 13 others are continuing, most of the fatalities are between eight and 15 years old,” the spokesman said”, Kano state firefighters’ spokesman Saminu Abdullahi said, AFP news agency reported.
According to initial investigations, the boat was carrying more cargo than its structure could withstand, as Abdullahi said it “could carry 12 people”.
The children were pupils of a Koranic school in Badau village in Bagwai and were attending a religious ceremony in a village on the other side of the river.
Meanwhile, those who were rescued have been taken to a hospital in the area, where they are receiving medical treatment.
Shipwrecks are frequent in Nigerian rivers, due to overloading of boats, lack of boat maintenance, lack of proper regulation by the authorities and bad weather.
Same episode, another tragedy
Just two weeks ago, seven girls between the ages of 10 and 12 drowned after their boat capsized in a river in Jigawa state, in the north of the country.
The teenage girls were returning home across the Gasanya River in Auyo district after a religious ceremony commemorating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, Jigawa police spokesman Lawan Shiisu said in a statement.