19 children drown as boat capsizes in Kwara

Lagos Water transportation ferry boat

At least 19 children drowned in a boat accident on Saturday in Lafiagi, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.

The boat was conveying about 21 people mostly children across River Niger to a traditional wedding in a community in Niger Niger when the tragedy occurred.

An unnamed source told Vanguard on Sunday that while two of the passengers were rescued, 19 others drowned, stressing that all efforts to rescue them proved abortive.

“As at yesterday (Saturday) evening, four corpses have been recovered from the river. Efforts will resume this morning (Sunday) again to ensure that others are also found.

“Men of the Nigeria Police and the State Fire Service were part of the rescue mission. Unfortunately, only two of them survived,” the source was quoted to have said.

Lafiagi Traditional Council Secretary Sulyman Aliyu also confirmed the incident. He said the number of the victims could not be ascertained yet and that there was a conflict in the casualty figures.

“Definitely, they are up to 12. The figure is between 12 and that 19 you mentioned,” Aliyu said, also confirming that four corpses were recovered on Saturday and that efforts to recover others continued Sunday.

Kwara Police Public Relations Officer DSP Ajayi Okasanmi also confirmed the incident.

He said police officers and other security agencies had joined the local government council to recover the corpses. He too could not give an accurate figure of the victims as recovery exercise was still ongoing at press time.