About 140 boat passengers are said to be missing in Kebbi state after an overloaded boat ferrying them sank in the Niger River.
The tragic incident was said to have occurred on Wednesday.
The boat left central Niger state and was heading to northwest Kebbi when it sank, Abdullahi Buhari Wara, administrative head of Ngaski district said.
“A rescue operation is underway but only 22 survivors and one dead body have been recovered,” Wara said.
“We are talking of around 140 passengers still missing.”
Wara blamed the Kebbi accident on overloading as the boat was meant to ferry not more than 80 passengers, AFP reported.
The vessel was also loaded with bags of sand from a gold mine, the official said.
The boat ferrying 100 local traders split into two after hitting a stump during a storm as they were returning from a local market, according to emergency officials.