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Monday, July 15, 2024

One passenger dies, another missing during Jigawa boat mishap

An 18-year-old female passenger, Habiba Ado, has been confirmed dead and another lady declared missing by emergency officials when a passenger boat capsized on Kwalgai River in Auyo Local Government Area of Jigawa State.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 18 passengers were rescued by the emergency officials, fishermen and local divers after the mishap.

The casualties were confirmed through a statement released by the Jigawa Police Command on Monday, stating that the tragedy occurred about 10:00 pm yesterday when a group of about 20 marketers from Kwalgwai village, boarded a canoe to travel across the Kwalgai River en route Hadin village.

In the statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer for Jigawa Command, DSP Lawan Adam, the command stated that the canoe capsized due to powerful waves and overloading, saying the boat did not have the space for the passenger capacity.

The police added that the casualties would have been severe, but, the immediate intervention of divers, fishermen, and good Samaritans, along with a team of policemen led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Auyo Division, resulted in the rescue of 18 passengers alive.

“Upon receiving the distress call, a team of policemen led by the DPO raced to the scene. Divers, fishermen, and good Samaritans were swiftly notified and engaged in the rescue operation.

“Unfortunately, two female passengers were initially reported missing. Early on the morning of July 8, one of the missing females, identified as Habiba Ado, 18, from Kwalgwai, was found and rushed to Auyo Hospital, where she was declared dead by the on-call medical doctor.

“A preliminary investigation indicated that the accident was primarily caused by powerful waves and overloading, which made it difficult for the driver to steer the canoe”.

The police said all rescued victims have been taken to the hospital for medical attention while efforts are ongoing to locate the remaining missing passenger.

The command has urged residents and travellers to exercise caution and avoid overloading canoes, especially during adverse weather conditions, to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased and those affected by this tragic incident,” it added.

The authorities continue to monitor the situation closely, as search and rescue efforts for the missing passenger remain a top priority.

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