At least 40 passengers are missing and presumed dead after a boat capsized Monday on the Niger River in northwest Nigeria, a local official said Tuesday.
The boat, which was carrying 50 people, capsized due to strong currents and ten passengers were rescued, said Yauri district manager Bala Mohammed, estimating that after a day of searching, the missing people probably died of drowning.
“The search is difficult due to the high water level and strong currents due to the rainy season,” he said.
Shipwrecks in Nigeria on busy rivers are common, particularly during the rainy season. They are generally due to overloaded boats, poor maintenance or non-compliance with safety rules.
In early September, at least 24 bodies were found and 50 people missing when a boat carrying more than 100 farmers on the Niger River capsized, according to authorities.
Two days earlier, ten people were drowned and three were missing when a boat sank on a lake in northeastern Nigeria.