At least 17 bodies have been recovered after a passenger boat capsized in Nigeria’s eastern state of Taraba on Saturday, local officials said on Monday.
Twelve people have been rescued so far from the incident, said Bashir Garga, head of operations for the National Emergency Management Agency in Taraba, adding that rescue operations are still ongoing.
Garga told reporters that the boat, carrying at least 104 passengers, including women and children from a local market, capsized en route to the Karim Lamido local government area of Taraba.
The official attributed the incident to “overloading of the boat by operators,” saying a further investigation is underway.
Taraba State Governor Agbu Kefas described the incident as “most tragic” in a statement, urging local rescuers to intensify the ongoing search and rescue operations.
Boat accidents in the West African country are frequently reported due to overloading, bad weather, and faulty operations. Last month, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu ordered a “thorough and comprehensive” investigation into the recurring tragedy of fatal boat incidents across the country.