Nigeria: Rescue effort for capsized Gabon-bound boat

  • 20 March 2013
  • From the section Africa

A boat carrying 160 people has capsized off Nigeria's coast, workers in charge of the rescue effort have said.

So far only two people are known to have survived.

The wooden vessel set off from south-eastern Nigeria on Friday heading to Gabon - a popular route for traders moving between West and Central Africa.

The BBC's Tomi Oladipo in Lagos says these trips last for several days in poor safety standards, and boat accidents are common.

The boat left the remote town of Oron in Akwa Ibom state and was heading across the Gulf of Guinea when it capsized 40 nautical miles (74km) offshore, officials say.

Rescuers working off the coast of the Nigerian city of Calabar say they have recovered dozens of bodies of passengers who drowned.

The two known survivors, a young boy and a woman, clung to a gas cylinder before they were found by fishermen, local emergency official David Akate told Reuters news agency.

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