Death toll from Nigeria boat mishap reaches 76

The death toll from a boat mishap last week in the River Niger in Nigeria has increased to 76, local authorities said.

In a statement on Saturday, an official said Governor Atiku Bagudu was informed by local officials that 76 dead bodies have so far been recovered, Xinhua news agency reported

The mishap on May 26 involved a boat believed to be overloaded with passengers who were on their way to a market in Kebbi from a village in neighbouring Niger state.

The statement said more than 20 people have been rescued alive, and the rescue operation is still ongoing.

According to the statement, Bagudu called on people especially boat users and passengers to learn from previous experiences and desist from acts capable of endangering their lives.

“In whatever we do, we must stick to rules, boat users should stick to specifications on the exact number of passengers to be carried by each boat,” he was quoted as saying.

The Governor said his administration will review the extant maritime laws to prevent further loss of lives and properties.