A boat capsized in northwestern Nigeria, killing 15, police said on Wednesday.
The boat was heading towards the village of Dundeji in Sokoto state on Tuesday when it capsized in the middle of a river, local police spokesman Sanusi Abubakar told The Associated Press.
There were 36 passengers aboard the boat, of whom 21 were rescued alive. Thirteen females and two males died. said Abubakar. Some of the victims were children.
It was the latest in a string of boat capsizes in riverside communities in Nigeria.
DOZENS OF ANIMALS AT SUDAN ZOO FEARED DEAD AS STREET BATTLES RENDER CAPITOL CITY INACCESSIBLE
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Villagers gathered in the local square with their families on Wednesday as they mourned the victims, who were on their way to fetch firewood, local media reported. Umar Yabo, a local representative, described the deaths as a great loss for the community, which is about 34 miles from the state capital, Sokoto.
Authorities launched an investigation into the tragedy on Wednesday, the police official said. Such capsizes are common in many riverine communities across Nigeria, where locally made boats are the primary mode of transportation. Officials attribute them mainly to overloading and using poorly maintained boats.