Ten bodies have been recovered after a boat carrying more than 100 women and children broke apart on a river in northern Nigeria, a local official said.
The vessel, ferrying passengers returning from a farm on the River Niger, broke in half as it approached Samanaji village in Koko-Besse district on Wednesday.
It had been overloaded with passengers “beyond its capacity,” said Yahaya Bello Koko, the political administrator of the district.
“We have recovered 10 passengers with the help of local divers while searches for 10 others still missing” continue, said Koko.
“The 10 missing are presumed to have drowned, considering the long hours they have spent in the river.”
More than 80 passengers were rescued, he added.
Capsizes are common on Nigerian waterways due to frequent overloading and lack of maintenance.
In May 2021, around 100 traders drowned when their boat ruptured because of overloading and sank in the same river, according to Kebbi state officials.
In October 2022, 14 people drowned when an overloaded passenger vessel capsized in northwest Nigeria.
In April of the same year, 26 people – including 21 women and five children – drowned when their canoe capsized on the same river, officials said at the time.