Scores of passengers were feared dead after a speed boat conveying traders capsized on River Niger at Bagana in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State.
A relative of one of the deceased, Ibrahim Dantani, who is a native of Umaisha in Toto LGA of Nasarawa State, said the incident happened around 9:12 pm on Sunday, when the canoe conveying over 47 passengers capsized.
He said the victims, who were mostly traders and natives of Umaisha town, were returning to Umaisha after attending a local market in Bagana.
It was learnt that the speed boat crashed into a tree in the middle of the river and suddenly capsized.
Dantani added that all the occupants including women and children on board got drowned.
“They were actually returning from Bagana, village market through the river Niger back to Umaisha when the boat hit a tree in the middle of the river and suddenly capsized,” he said.
He said some corpses had been recovered, while a rescue operation was still ongoing.
The Ohimegye of Opanda-Umaisha Kingdom, His Royal Highness Alhaji Usman Abdullahi, confirmed the incident on the telephone to our reporter on Monday.
He said those affected were people from his kingdom, including some Hausa traders and scavengers who were returning from Bagana market back to Umaisha.
“I am yet to get details and total number of people involved in the canoe accident. It was one of the people in my palace who called to inform me about the incident while I was away,” he said.
The monarch, however, said he will get back to our reporter after he arrived home and get details of casualty involved in the incident .
The chairman of Toto local government area of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi Aliyu Tashas, also confirmed the incident, but said he has yet to get details.