When the 21-foot powerboat capsized near a remote stretch of open water on Friday night near the town of Edi, it caused a panic and panic created a panic, according to eyewitnesses. The boat swerved to avoid hitting another vessel, and in doing so, veered to the right and tipped over, sending dozens of male passengers into the water in different directions. As a number of people were in the water, the boat sank in a matter of minutes. At least 29 people have since been confirmed dead.
“I heard two explosions and saw people drowning,” a witness told BBC News. “There were dead bodies still floating on the water hours after the accident.”
The accident occurred during a period of rainy season, which can be dangerous in remote areas. It is also not the first boat accident to have taken place in Nigeria’s border region. This month, 15 people were killed in an accident in Taraba State, and nine others were swept away by a swollen river in Abonnema, Bayelsa State.
Nigeria’s civil society has expressed their outrage over the violence. “My heartfelt condolences to my family and friends who lost loved ones in the tragic incident,” Michael Mbadinuju, a member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, said on social media. “That accident was caused by reckless piloting and the loss of the control.” He also suggested more preventive measures would be a good step in preventing further losses.
Read the full story at The Telegraph.
Tribal dispute in Nigeria kills 15 during frantic rescue attempt