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Again, Boat Mishap Claims 18 Lives in Niger

By The Citizen
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Barely six days after a boat mishap which occurred in Malili village in Borgu Local Government Area of  Niger State claimed 26 lives, another one has occurred leaving no fewer than 18 persons dead.

The mishap which occurred on the River  Niger  involved a boat  conveying people from the weekly Thursday market from Kokoli to Ulakami at about 4pm.

The boat was said to be conveying about 80 people when it split into two  and the passengers in it were thrown into the river.

According to a  survivor, Umar Ibrahim, who spoke to newsmen said they were in the middle of the 10 kilometres journey when the boat they were in split throwing all the passengers into the water. 'We had just gotten to the middle of the journey when the boat split into two and  people started screaming and and falling into the water,' he said.

Ibrahim stated that he was able to rescue about 10 people all whom were women and children, adding that the men could take care of themselves and if not for the rescue,  the casualty rate would have been higher.

He added that but for the intervention of other boat captains and their passengers who could swim, it would have been a disaster as he was not sure he too would have survived it because the bank of the river was far away. He added that the other boat drivers rushed towards them while they put the people they rescued into the boats, they also got into some when they got tired.  The village head, Mohammed  Garba,  confirmed that after the incident, they went round to find out how many people were missing and they got 18.

He added that rescue  operation could not start immediately as there was a heavy down pour, adding that the next morning, villagers went and discovered some bodies while some are still missing.

'Eighteen of our people were victims of the unfortunate incident last night and because of the heavy rain, we could not do anything until this morning. At about 10am, we had recovered 10 bodies, by afternoon, we recovered two  while the last one was recovered at about 7.30pm just before you came in,' he said.