Nigerian rescue workers pulled more than three dozen bodies from the water on Thursday after an overcrowded riverboat sank leaving more than 150 people missing and feared drowned. Survivors and officials said only 20 people were rescued on Wednesday when the wooden boat ferrying passengers to a market broke apart and sank as it travelled between central Niger state and Wara in northwest Kebbi state. Riverboat tragedies are common on Nigerian waterways mostly due to overcrowding, weather and lack of maintenance, but Wednesday’s toll would be one of the deadliest in recent years. President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday called the mishap “devastating” after the country’s inland waterways authority said only 20 people had been rescued and another 156 were still missing. Local district administrator Abdullahi Buhari Wara said the boat was also loaded with bags of sand from a gold mine.
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