No fewer than seven people died and seven hospitalised in Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi when a boat carrying 150 passengers returning from Malali Market capsized along River Niger.
The co-ordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in-charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, Alhaji Sulaiman Muhammad, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ngaski on Saturday.
He said that efforts were on-going to rescue the missing passengers.
Muhammad said fishermen and officials of the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) were coordinating the rescue operation.
“As soon as we got the hint of the mishap, we put a call to the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority to help rescue the missing passengers.
“All the people on board were missing, but as rescue and search continued wide and deep of the river, 14 people were discovered; seven died and seven have been taken to Ngaski Hospital,” he said.
NAN gathered that the accident occurred when the boat on transit carrying 150 passengers hit a branch of tree in the water and capsized.
Ngaski Local Government Area is two hours journey from the river where the incident happened.
Boat accidents are common occurrences in Nigerian inland waters where safety regulations for passenger boats are often relaxed or non-existent.