Fifteen children drown, 25 more missing in Nigeria boat tragedy

Fifteen children drowned and 25 others were missing after their overloaded boat capsized on a river in northwest Nigeria, a local official said Wednesday.

The children were on their way from Dundeji village in Sokoto State to collect firewood in the bush on Tuesday on the other side of Shagari river when the boat sank, Aliyu Abubakar, local administrator of Shagari district, said.

“We woke up to a tragedy yesterday morning, where a boat carrying children capsized mid-river,” Abubakar told AFP.

“Fifteen bodies, 13 girls and two boys, were recovered by local rescue teams and buried in the village,” said the official, who supervised the rescue operation.

River accidents are frequent in Nigeria, often caused by overloading, poor maintenance, heavy flooding in rainy season and disregard of safety regulations.

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