17 people drowns as a boat that contained 60 passengers capsized in the Niger state, said the National Emergency Management (NEMA) on Wednesday

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The boat was saidn to have crashed into a tree trunk in the rain-swollen river Niger on Tuesday.

NEMA coordinator Suleiman Karim versus AFP said ,”So far, 17 bodies have been removed from the water, 12 yesterday and still five this morning”.

Another 17 passengers were rescued by emergency workers and local divers, said Karim

“We are still looking for at least 26 people because the 60-person boat was full at the time of the accident,” he said.

The number on board can have been higher, since ferries in the river area are usually overloaded, Karim said.

The boat had left the village of Jilbabo in the Kebbi state and went to Tetebo village in neighboring Niger state when the accident happened.

In the country, capsules are common as overpopulation is frequent and unscrupulous operators flood the health and safety standards

The accident rate usually rises in the May-September rainy season when the rivers swell.

Last month, 74 people were killed in three separate boat capsules in northern Nigeria after emergency services.

In one case 56 people drowned, when an overloaded boat drowned 150 passengers in the Kebbi state.

The boat drove local traders from the neighboring Niger republic to a market in Nigeria.