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At least 10 dead, 60 missing after boat capsizes in Nigeria’s Anambra state


ABUJA: At least 10 people have died and another 60 are missing after a boat capsized in Nigeria’s southeastern Anambra state, officials said Saturday.
The ship, with 85 people on board, capsized amid heavy flooding, trapping passengers, said Thickman Tanimu, regional coordinator for the ship. National Emergency Management Agencytold Reuters.
Governor of Anambra State Chukwuma Charles Soludo said in a statement that 10 people had drowned. The head of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency said 15 people had been rescued as of Saturday night.
The incident happened around 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) and Friday noon, the agency said.
Area resident and former head of local government Afam Ogene said the boat’s engine failed and it was overpowered by the waves shortly after launching.
“It’s a locally made boat that can carry over a hundred people, unfortunately its engine failed and there was a stampede,” Ogene said.
Tanimu said a military disaster response unit of the Nigerian army was assisting in the search effort.
Anambra is among 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states to suffer major flooding this year. The water has washed away homes, crops and roads and affected at least half a million people.
Ogene said the flooding destroyed the main road connecting eight communities to the rest of the Ogbaru local government area, forcing people to travel by boat.
Farmers say rising water will push food bills higher in a country where millions have fallen into poverty over the past two years.

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