No fewer than 40 persons have been confirmed dead and several injured after a boat conveying pupils of Madinatu Islamiyya school in Bagwai Local Government Area of Kano state, capsized on Tuesday night.
An eyewitness said the boat capsized in the middle of the river though the reason for the accident is yet unknown.
The deceased students and their teachers were said to be on their way to attend Maulud, an Islamic celebration held annually to commemorate the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
“The passengers were travelling to Bagwai town to attend the annual Maulud festival. The boat capsized due to overload, killing over 40 passengers, mostly women and children. Scores of others sustained various degrees of injuries. Very few passengers survived the incident,” an eyewitness told newsmen.
It was further gathered that the victims died right inside the river because they could not swim to its bank and they were not wearing life jackets.
According to a source in Bagwai General Hospital who spoke to newsmen, about 20 corpses have been recovered so far and deposited at the hospital’s morgue.
Spokesman of the state Fire Service, Mr. Saminu Yusuf Abdullahi, who confirmed the incident said so far 20 corpses have been retrieved while seven people have also been rescued alive as the rescue operation was still ongoing.
“More than 49 persons were in the boat which was on its way to Bagwai town from Badau village when the incident happened,” he said.