Scores missing in Nigerian ferry disaster

Fifty people have been rescued after a ferry capsized in eastern Nigeria on Thursday, while about 100 remain missing, a state official said on Saturday.

    The disaster struck in Adawama State, 700km east of Abuja

    "There were around 150 people on board. 50 have been rescued. We

    have alerted districts downstream to watch out for bodies," an Adamawa State

    official William Zai Wali told

    French news agency AFP.

    The boat was carrying passengers, cement and fuel down the Benue

    river from Numan in Adamawa State to Jen in Taraba State

    when it hit a bridge and turned over

    .

    "The river was full because water was being released from the

    dam at Loddu," he said. "The ferry hit the

    piles of a bridge across the river and capsized."

    But a Nigerian Red Cross spokeswoman said she had not yet heard of any survivors.

    "There is no news of any rescued alive yet," said Umo Okon. She added that Red Cross rescue workers were still searching for survivors. She was unable to say whether rescue teams at the scene had recovered any bodies.

    Numan is 700km (440 miles) east of the Nigerian capital

    Abuja.

    Nigeria's waterways and roads are the scenes of frequent accidents, due to the bad state of passenger boats, vehicles and roads.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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