The Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Shehu Ningi, on Thursday said about 15 people were killed in an overcrowded canoe mishap at Gwaskaram village, Bauchi Local Government Area.
Ningi confirmed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi.
He said the canoe was carrying passengers from Gwaskaram village area heading to the next village, Yola Doka, on a market day.
Ningi said that the accident happened over the weekend on the Gwaskaram river in Bauchi local government area of the state.
He said they had confirmed 15 deaths in the mishap while three persons were rescued, adding that rescue operation was still ongoing.
The SEMA permanent secretary assured that efforts were on to recover the remaining bodies.
Ningi said the canoe capsized due to overload, lack of maintenance and a hole that allowed water to weight it down.
He said the canoe had more than 21 people on board, noting that there were too many people and goods on the canoe.
The Ward Head of Gwas Kwam, Alhaji Abdullahi Maikano, also told NAN on phone that there were over 20 passengers on the wooden canoe that capsized.
“Five were rescued while out of the others, only five dead bodies had been discovered so far,”
He added that they were already engaged in searching for other people missing in the river.
He enjoined the deceased families to consider the incident as an act of God.