No fewer than 42 persons have been confirmed dead in a boat mishap in Niger State.
Also, over 100 others are said to have drowned in the accident that occurred at about 2pm on Friday.
The boat ran into stormy weather at Malali village in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State.
The dead and the injured were traders returning from Malali Market to their village in Tunga Illo.
The Public Relations Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency in Niger State, Mallam Ibrahim Hussaini, confirmed the incident.
More details soon.
The details of the accident were still sketchy as at press time, but the NEMA PRO said: “The boat was believed to have carried over 150 passengers, mostly traders, when it capsized midway into its journey, resulting in the drowning of 42 passengers, while 100 others are missing.
“Swimmers from Malili village swung into action immediately after they heard about the mishap, retrieving 42 corpses from the river, while efforts is being made to rescue possible survivors along the bank of the river or the corpse of those that were drown.
“At the moment, search and rescue is ongoing on the river.
“I will make the details of the incident known soon.”
Hussaini said the Agency has dispatched its officers to assist the villagers in the rescue efforts.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has commiserated with the families of the victims of the boat mishap.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, Governor Aliyu said it is very disheartening for such a tragedy to befall the state at a time when government was grappling with challenges to better the lot of the people.
The statement urged those involved with water transportation to be more careful, especially during raining season when the water level is usually high.
The statement said the state’s emergency management agency has since deployed its officials to the scene of the mishap to ascertain the extent of losses incurred with a view to compensate families of the victims.
Aliyu expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of all those affected by the tragedy and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss as well as grant the souls of the departed eternal rest.