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More than 150 feared drowned as boat capsizes

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More than 150 are feared dead when a boat in which they were travelling capsized on Wednesday.

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A source said the boat was carrying artisanal miners, traders and some Nigerien nationals.

So far, only four corpses were recovered and while 20 persons have been rescued.

“The boat capacity was not up to the 180 passengers it carried,” National Inland Waterways Authority local manager Yusuf Birma told reporters. “As we speak, only 20 people have been rescued alive, four dead confirmed while the remaining 156 people are still missing and they are believed to be underwater.”

He said passengers were heading to a market in Malele in Borgu local government area of Niger state, when the boat sank an hour into the journey.

Sarkin Samari of Warra, Adamu Umar Warra, said almost every household in the village has its member on the ill-fated boat, noting that the boat was carrying over 150 people. Warra said the boat capsized in the deepest part of River Niger.

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“so far only four dead bodies were recovered while 18 others that were rescued had been rushed to the hospital for medical attention,” he said.

An official of the Red Cross in Kebbi, Ibrahim Ngaski, said he was told the boat was carrying about 250 passengers.

“Absence of rescue equipment is what is one of the major impediment to the rescue operation,” Ngaski said. “The information at hand said the boat was carrying about 250 people. Though, we are waiting to hear from.our men who had since joined the rescue team.”

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