Thirty bodies have been recovered, five are still missing and 65 passengers have been rescued from a boat that capsized in Munya district of central Niger state, officials say.

Boat capsizes are common in Nigerian waterways because of overcrowding and lack of maintenance, particularly in the annual rainy season.
Boat capsizes are common in Nigerian waterways because of overcrowding and lack of maintenance, particularly in the annual rainy season. (Reuters Archive)

An overloaded boat has capsized in central Nigeria's Niger state, leaving at least 30 people dead and five others missing, officials said. 

The boat ferrying 100 local traders split into two after hitting a stump during a windstorm as they were returning from a market, Ibrahim Audu Hussein, spokesperson for Niger state emergency agency told AFP news agency on Monday.  

"So far 30 bodies have been recovered and five are still missing," Hussein said on the accident that occurred at Tijana village in Munya district.

Dozens rescued 

"Sixty-five passengers were rescued with the help of local divers," he said.

Heavy rains were hampering the search but divers were "braving the odds," Husseini said.

Boat capsizes are common in Nigerian waterways because of overcrowding and lack of maintenance, particularly in the annual rainy season. 

Source: AFP