Nigerian officials have confirmed that at least 60 people have been killed in a boat accident on the Niger River, and that 83 passengers have been reported missing.
The boat, carrying more than 160 passengers, including many children and women, sank Wednesday after traveling along Nigeria’s largest river in the northwestern state of Kobe after hitting and breaking an object.
Emergency workers continued their recovery efforts on Friday. The bodies were transported from a team boat near the riverbank to an ambulance.
Workers discovered 55 bodies on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 60, according to Sunni Dododo, head of the Kobe State Emergency Management Agency.
“We hope to find more bodies on Friday,” he said, adding that he feared the 83 missing passengers would not be found alive.
Twenty-two passengers were rescued shortly after the crash, but no one else has been rescued alive since.
Among the dead is a child less than a year old.
The effort to recover is slow because the river is now high and fast, making conditions dangerous for divers and boat workers, Dododo said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the boat to break while traveling from Nigeria to Wara in Kabi.
Boat crashes are common in Nigeria, especially on the Niger River, due to overload, the poor condition of many boats, and the wreckage that ships often encounter.
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