No fewer than 11 persons lost their lives , weekend, in the River Rima area when a canoe carrying 17 persons, mostly children, capsized after hitting a log of wood in Birnin Kebbi ,the Kebbi State capital.
THISDAY gathered that the incident occurred Friday night. The overloaded canoe capsized after it hit a big log believed to have been placed in the river as part of the process of dredging and construction of a bridge along the river bank.
Confirming the incident to THISDAY, Chief Press Secretary to the Kebbi State governor, Alhaji Abubakari Mu’azu Dakingari, said rescue operations were still being intensified to try to rescue the remaining four persons.
He disclosed that the state government had approved the construction of Dukku Bridge. A resident of the area, Alhaji Shehu Tela, who lost his brother’s daughter in the mishap said around 8:30pm, news got to him that “Sa‘adatu, aged 14, was among those who got drowned when the boat capsized and her body is still missing, so I quickly rushed to the place.”.
According to him, “Those I met there told me that 17 persons, mostly children , were in the canoe. They are all from the nearby villages of Sabuwa, Kalangu ,and Dango who were on their way home inside the canoe and incidentally the canoe hit a big log of wood which was placed in the river by the company handling the construction of the bridge, Chinese Geological Company.” THISDAY gathered that when the canoe hit the log, some of the children tried to jump but got drowned in the process. The search for the remains of those who got drowned was still going on at the time of filing this report
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