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11 dead, 7 missing in boat accident in Nigeria

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LAGOS (Xinhua) – At least 11 people died Friday in a boat accident on the River Bukuru in Nigeria’s Benue state, an official said Saturday.

Tayo Fadile, a spokesperson for the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), who confirmed this to Xinhua, said seven of the passengers were still missing.

He said 12 of the passengers in the ill-fated boat were rescued by divers.

The search for the seven missing passengers is ongoing, Mr Fadile said, noting that 18 of the motorcycles on board have also been recovered.

Danjuma Mohammed, NIWA area manager in charge of Benue, said that the boat was overloaded as it was used to ferry 30 passengers, none wearing life jackets.

He said the ferry boat was designed to carry only vehicles, but was illegally turned into a passenger vessel, “causing the loss of 11 precious lives.”

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