The National Inland Waterways Authority said, on Wednesday, that 14 out of the 22 passengers aboard a boat that capsized between Kebbi and Niger states have been rescued.
NIWA, in a statement on Wednesday, said the bodies of six other passengers were recovered, adding that the search for the remaining passengers was ongoing.
The tragic incident happened on Monday, involving a boat from Kasabo Village in the Agwara Local Government of Niger State heading to Yauri market in Kebbi State.
NIWA said its findings showed that the sailor ignored the turbulent weather conditions.
“Preliminary investigation from our area office in Yauri, Kebbi State revealed that the wooden boat capsized as a result of a heavy windstorm that accompanied the bad weather. The sad and avoidable incident was due to human error and the sailor ignored the turbulent weather conditions.
“Whereas the sailor was supposed to berth at the nearest bank of the river, which is NIWA safety guidelines for such weather conditions, he decided to continue the journey, thus making the passengers panic and some of them jumped into the water without wearing lifejackets and later the boat capsized,” NIWA said,
It added that “ Fourteen persons were rescued alive and six dead bodies were retrieved while the search continues for the remaining two bodies.”
Meanwhile, the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, on Wednesday, released the names and photos of some recovered bodies of victims of the capsized boat.
NSEMA spokesman, Hussaine Ibrahim, who spoke with The PUNCH on the telephone, said two of the deceased, Murna Ezekiel and Amos Samuel, were from Kebbi State while the other four, Bilyaminu Kontagora, Dauda Alhassan Kasabu, Iliya Kpchra Busuru and Joshua Auta. were from Niger State.
Ibrahim also disclosed that two more bodies were recovered on Wednesday morning but efforts were on to identify them.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.