Death toll from Nigeria boat accident rises to 76

i24NEWS - AFP

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Residents fleeing rising waters in Adamawa State, northeastern Nigeria, on September 25, 2022.
Radeno Haniel / AFPResidents fleeing rising waters in Adamawa State, northeastern Nigeria, on September 25, 2022.

Boat carrying 85 people sinks amid massive flooding across country, with more than 300 killed already in 2022

The death toll from a boat accident over the weekend in Nigeria rose to 76, according to a statement by the office of the country’s president on Sunday.

The boat, overloaded with 85 people, capsized on Friday in the Ogbaru region of the Anambra state while going down the Niger River, according to officials. The area, as well as other regions of the country, have been ravaged by floods since the rainy season began in March.

The fatalities were confirmed after two days of search and rescue, said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I pray for the rest of the souls of the deceased and for the safety of all, as well as for the well-being of the family members of the victims of this tragic accident,” Buhari said.

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More than 300 have died and many more made homeless due to flooding this year, the worst in a decade.

Boat accidents happen with frequency in the country of 200 million, blamed on overloading, speeding, poor maintenance and disregard for navigational rules.

Buhari has ordered emergency services and other relevant authorities to provide assistance to the victims, and take action to prevent future tragedies.

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The flooding has caused severe damage to the country’s agricultural sector, washing away crops as experts warn of a possible food shortage, with food supplies already threatened by the Ukraine war.

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