Death toll hits 12 in Nigeria boat capsize: relief agency

AFP
File picture dated on April 14, 2009 shows an aerial view of Port Harcourt in Nigeria's River State, the commercial capital Niger Delta
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File picture dated on April 14, 2009 shows an aerial view of Port Harcourt in Nigeria's River State, the commercial capital Niger Delta (AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Port Harcourt (Nigeria) (AFP) - Two more people were confirmed dead on Saturday after an overloaded boat capsized off the coast of southeast Nigeria, taking the death toll to 12.

Twenty-two people were rescued and taken to hospital after the boat went down on Friday as it travelled between Bonny Island and Port Harcourt, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.

"From our investigation, the capacity of the boat was 25 but it was carrying 34 people," said NEMA local coordinator Onimode Bandele, revising downward by one the number of people thought to have been on board.

"We also learnt that on August 28, the same boat hit an object which affected its hull and we are not sure if it was repaired before being used again," he told AFP.

The boat is thought to have hit an object and overturned early on Friday.

Boat accidents in Nigeria occur frequently and are often caused by overloading, poor vessel maintenance, speeding and poor lighting.

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