No fewer than 10 persons lost their lives when a boat carrying over 34 passengers capsized in Bassa village of Shiroro local government area of Niger State.
The incident, The WikkiTimes gathered, occurred between Zangoro and Bassa village, around 2:pm on Thursday.
The chairman of the Shiroro Coalition Association, Usman Ibrahim Kuta, who spoke to our correspondent, said that the boat loaded over 100 passengers.
“The boat was carrying more than 100 passengers with grains, and the boat took off from Zangoro community of Bassa ward and headed towards Gijiwa village”, he told this reporter in a telephone conversation on Saturday.
“Along the way, the boat hit a tree in the water, and this created a hole in the boat where water passed through into the boat in an uncontrolled way that led to the mishap of the boat, claiming several lives.”
“The victims were market women that normally move from Zangoro to Gijiwa, which they would head to Kuta market”, the union leader said, explaining further that there was no life jacket offered to victims.
“The drivers’ union had a meeting with the stakeholders and discussed how to prevent and provide some materials that would serve as survival to the passengers and drivers when a tragic incident occurred”, he said.
The Spokesman of Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Ibrahim Audu, confirmed the incident to this reporter, saying that the accident claimed 10 lives
“NSEMA received a report of a boat mishap in Shiroro, LGA, yesterday, November 16, 2023. In a harrowing incident between 1:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., a boat en route from Zangoro Bassa/Kukoki Ward terminal to Gijiwa/Kato Ward terminal in Shiroro Local Government Area capsized, sending shockwaves of grief to the families of the victims”.
He further added that about 34 people were on board when the boat capsized on Thursday, citing figures of gender in the boat. He said that 20 males and 14 females.
“24 survivors have been identified, with efforts ongoing to gather complete information”, he said.
“Tragically, 10 lives were lost, including Farida Muntari, Sharhabila Sagir, Abubakar Sadiq, Na’ima Ibrahim, Amina, Safaratu Ibrahim, Sadiq Ibrahim, Rafiya Yakubu, and two unidentified victims.
“One body has been recovered, with the search ongoing,” Audu said.
He further stated that the capsized boat had six drivers named Dahiru Yusuf, Sa’idu Shu’aibu, Ahmadu Garba, Sa’idu Garba, Abdulaziz Yahaya, and Lukuman Sani.
“Water hyacinth, strong waves, and a grafting tree were identified as factors contributing to the mishap,” he stated as the cause of the accident.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Shiroro LGA, in the company of a desk officer in NSEMA, visited the incident scene as search and rescue operations are ongoing for other victims.
On October 2, 2023, a boat carrying about 22 passengers capsized in the Agwara area of the state.
Similarly, on September 10, 2023, another tragedy struck in Mokwa when a boat conveying an unspecified number of passengers capsized.