Nigerian boat sinks as 100 people feared dead and dozens missing after ship splits

More than 100 people are feared dead after a ship carrying 160 passengers split and sank in Nigeria.

Around 160 passengers were onboard the vessel when it sank within the Niger , local media has reported.

Only 22 survivors and one body are recovered, leaving 140 people unaccounted for, an area official said.

Most of the passengers onboard were women and youngsters , the BBC has reported.

Divers try to seek out any survivors within the water, but hopes aren’t high.

Abdullahi Buhari Wara, administrative head of Ngaski district, told Daily Trust: “A operation is underway but only 22 survivors and one body are recovered.

“We are talking of around 140 passengers still missing.”

Mr Wara claimed that the boat was hugely overloaded and has twice its maximum passenger capacity.

The vessel was also loaded with bags of sand from a gold mine, he added.

The river tragedy is that the second to befall the region this month after thirty people drowned when an overloaded boat capsized in Niger state, the vessel having split into two when it hit a stump during a storm.

At the time, the boat had 100 people on board.

Boat capsizes are common in Nigerian waterways due to overcrowding and lack of maintenance, particularly within the annual season , TRT world reports.