Twenty-two people have died in a boat mishap around Mahuta community in Agwara, Niger state, the Niger State Emergency Management Agency has said.
Hussaini Ibrahim, the agency’s spokesperson, confirmed the incident on Wednesday.
Reports say the boat was ferrying around 60 passengers when it smashed into a tree trunk in the rain-swollen River Niger on Tuesday.
NewsDay had earlier reported that no fewer than 17 people drowned in the accident.
“So far 17 bodies have been removed from the water, 12 yesterday and another five this morning”, NEMA coordinator Suleiman Karim told AFP.
Another 17 passengers were rescued by emergency workers and local divers, Karim said.
“We are still searching for at least 26 people because the 60-passenger boat was full at the time of the accident”, he said.
The number on board may have been higher as ferries in the riverine region are usually overloaded, Karim said.
The boat had left Jilbabo village in Kebbi State and was heading to Tetebo village in neighbouring Niger State when the accident happened.
Last month 74 people were killed in three separate boat capsizes in northern Nigeria, according to emergency services.
In one instance 56 people drowned when an overloaded boat sank carrying 150 passengers in Kebbi state.