The rescue team at the scene of the incident. Photo: The Guardian
Niger boat mishap: Divers rescue 49 passengers, lose one person, three cows
The passengers, who are mainly women, were on their way to the weekly Kwata/Zumba market in Shiroro Local Government Area when the boat on which they were being ferried across capsized
By Valentine Amanze
No fewer than 49 passengers have been rescued by local divers, when the boat ferrying them across neighbouring village market through River Kaduna in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State capsized at the weekend.
Only one person and three cows were confirmed dead at press time, as the over-loaded boat, conveying over 50 passengers, mainly women and their children, sank as it was being paddled across Zumba from Kwata village for the Saturday market.
Alhaji Isah Umar, the ‘Sarkin Ruwa’ (leader of divers) in the area, who confirmed the accident and the rescue of 49 passengers on phone on Sunday, explained that only one person died.
His words: “The passengers, who are mainly women, were on their way to the weekly Kwata/Zumba market in Shiroro Local Government Area when the boat on which they were being ferried across capsized”.
Apart from the dead one, Isah Umar, who debunked reports that no fewer than 30 lives were lost, told Nigeria News Flight that cattle dealers on the trip lost three cows, which drowned, while one was rescued.
He said, “I am not aware of the loss of 30 people in the accident as claimed in some reports. We were able to successfully rescue almost all the passengers on the boat except for one dead body that was recovered and that of two cows”.
Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) also confirmed that only 49 passengers were rescued from the disaster and all the victims in stable conditions contrary to reports that 30 lives were lost.