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Boat Carrying About 200 People Capsizes in Nigeria

KADUNA, Nigeria — A boat ferrying about 200 people capsized in the northwestern Nigerian state of Kebbi on Wednesday, said a spokesman for the state’s governor. He said there were casualties, but the exact number was uncertain.

“The boat was ferrying about 200 passengers” from the neighboring country of Niger, said Yahaya Sarki, a media aide for the governor of Kebbi.

He added: “Bodies are still being recovered. We can’t ascertain the number for now.”

Boat accidents are not uncommon in Nigeria, which has a track record of overcrowded vessels and poor maintenance and safety. The number of passengers on the boat Wednesday means that dozens of lives were feared lost.

The boat capsized near Wara, Mr. Sarki said, a town on the shores of Kainji Lake, part of the Niger River.

Many passengers were returning from a newly discovered gold vein in Niger, said Qasimu Umar Wara, a resident of Wara.

“They usually go there in the evenings and return to Wara in the morning,” he said. “Most of them are petty traders, food vendors and the local miners.”


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