No fewer than seventeen bodies have been recovered by rescue operators on Sunday after a boat carrying 104 persons capsized in Taraba State.
Speaking with newsmen, the Director of Emergency Services at NEMA, Bashir Garga said, “So far, 17 bodies have been discovered while 12 more persons have been rescued.”
Revealing that rescue operations are still ongoing, Garga blamed the overloading of the boat by operators as one of the reasons for the resurgence of boat mishaps in the country.
Reports say the boat capsized on Saturday with over 100 people mostly local traders including women and children returning from Mayorenero fish market in Ardo – Kola Local Government en route to Binnari in Karim – Lamido Local Government all in Taraba State.
How the Taraba boat mishap happened
An anonymous resident of Mayorenero said, “The boat was carrying local traders most of whom bought foodstuff, there were motorcycles bought by some of the passengers and other things in the boat.”
He added, “On Saturday, one body was found while four were discovered on Sunday. One dead body was seen but while it was being brought out it slipped back into the river and it’s yet to be discovered again.”
The resident noted that the boat was overloaded with passengers.
Rescuer narrates his account
He said, “Immediately they started the journey, it was learnt that the boat was too heavy due to the overload. The driver was informed but did nothing about it. Water waves were strong at the time. When the boat reached the middle of the river, the engine of the boat ceased. The waves overturned the boat.”
Taraba Governor speaks on boat mishap
In a statement shared on X, the Governor of Taraba state, Agbu Kefas wrote, “It’s over 24 hours after a Boat mishap that has claimed 12 lives in Taraba – and I am extremely unhappy. I commend the ongoing ‘search and rescue operations’ for many still missing. Tarabans, it’s a moment of darkness, for us as a People.
Furthermore, he added, “I mourn with Families of the departed, and pray we don’t witness such an ugly accident, again.”
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