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At least 76 killed in Nigeria boat accident

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At least 76 people have been reported dead after a boat accident in Nigeria’s south-eastern state of Anambra.

The boat, which was carrying at least 80 people, capsized on Friday in the Ogbaru area in Anambra state.

Most of the victims were women and children, trying to reach safety after their community had been inundated by floodwater. Media reports say those aboard the boat were heading to the Nkwo market in Ogbakuba before it capsized. Some officials said the boat had suffered engine failure and hit a bridge before capsizing.

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A former resident, Precious Umeh, told the BBC that the situation was extremely bad. “Some people whose family members have died in the boat accident are wondering how to bury the bodies because there is no dry land in their area.”

Thickman Tanimu, the south-east coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, told the AFP news agency: “The water level is very high and too risky for a smooth search and rescue operation”.

President Muhammadu Buhari offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the “tragic” accident.

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He also ordered a review of safety measures across the country’s water transport system and said emergency services must do everything to account for those missing.—BBC

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