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UPDATE: 20 dead, 14 missing in Kano boat accident

The boat conveyed more than 40 people and eventually capsized killing more than 20, most students.

Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, says the boat accident that killed more than 20 people on Tuesday is a state tragedy that will not be forgotten.

Ganduje revealed during an emergency council meeting held at Government House Kano that 29 bodies had been found, 7 people had been hospitalized, and 14 people were still missing.

He said a panel of inquiry has been formed under the direction of the state Navy commandant, Navy Captain Abubakar Muhammad, to probe the fundamental reasons for the tragedy.

According to the governor, the State would aid the family of the deceased as well as those in the hospital.

He regretted a similar catastrophe 13 years ago in the same dam that claimed many lives and urged boat operators to “always take overloading extremely seriously.”

Meanwhile, the Kano State emergency management agency has visited Bagwai to distribute relief materials.

The executive secretary, Dr Saleh Jili, told newsmen that eyewitnesses had said the boat was carrying more than 50 passengers, more than its loading capacity, the majority of them were students on their way to the Maulid celebrations.

He appealed to the local government council to purchase more canoes so that they can alleviate the transportation concerns in the area.

It is believed that the victims died within the river because they were unable to swim to the river’s bank and as they were not wearing life jackets.

Reporting by Khadija Aliyu, Editing by Adeniyi Bakare and Saadatu Albashir