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At least 26 killed, several missing in Nigeria ferry accident
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The boat was carrying more than 100 people, including women and children, in the Mokwa local government area of Niger state.

The victims were going to their farms across a major dam, said Bologi Ibrahim, the spokesperson for the governor of Niger state.

"Twenty-six persons, mostly women and children have been confirmed dead, over 30 people rescued, while a combined rescue operation by marine police and local divers in collaboration with Niger State Emergency Management Agency is ongoing," Ibrahim said in a statement.

The cause of the accident is not yet known, but Ibrahim said it was likely due to overloading. He said the boat was not supposed to carry more than 80 people.

The accident is the second major one to hit the region in three months. In May, a ferry capsized on the Niger River, killing at least 100 people.

Boat accidents were not uncommon in Nigeria, particularly in regions with a vast network of waterways, such as the Niger Delta and Lagos. Nigeria has a significant reliance on water transportation for goods and people, which increases the potential for accidents.

Boat accidents in Nigeria were often caused by a combination of factors, including overcrowding, overloading of vessels, poor maintenance of boats, lack of safety equipment, and adverse weather conditions. In some cases, accidents resulted from collisions between boats or with submerged objects.

Boat accidents in Nigeria often resulted in a high number of casualties due to overcrowding and the absence of proper safety measures. Many of the victims were passengers who drowned when boats capsized.

One of the challenges in addressing boat accidents in Nigeria was the lack of effective regulation and enforcement of safety standards. Many operators did not adhere to safety guidelines, and regulatory agencies struggled to monitor and enforce compliance.

Over the years, the Nigerian government took steps to improve safety in water transportation. This included efforts to regulate boat operations, promote safety awareness, and enhance rescue and emergency response capabilities. (ILKHA)



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