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More than 100 dead in Nigeria river boat accident

KANO: More than 100 people have drowned in north central Nigeria after a boat carrying families returning from a wedding sank in a river, police and local authorities said.

Details about the accident in Kwara State were still emerging, but it was the latest boat tragedy in Nigeria where river capsizes are common due to overloading, lax safety procedures and heavy flooding in the rainy season.

The boat was ferrying people in Kwara State from a wedding in neighbouring Niger State when it went down, local police and the Kwara governor’s office said Tuesday, without giving the cause.

“So far we have 103 people dead and over 100 rescued from the boat accident,” Kwara State police spokesman Okasanmi Ajayi told AFP by telephone.

“Search and rescue is still ongoing which means the toll is likely to rise.”

The Kwara State governor’s office said the victims had been returning from a wedding ceremony to Kwara’s Patigi district.

“The governor is sad to receive reports of the boat accident involving several people, particularly residents of Ebu, Dzakan, Kpada, Kuchalu, and Sampi, all in Patigi,” the statement said.

Fifteen children drown, 25 more missing in Nigeria boat tragedy

“The governor sends his heartfelt condolences to the people of these communities.”

The governor was monitoring the rescue efforts which had been underway since Monday night in search of possible survivors, it said.

“He commends the alertness of (traditional ruler) the Etsu Patigi His Royal Highness Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Bologi II and other local government authorities for the efforts to save as many people as possible who may have survived the mishap.”

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