by Rachel Ogbu
A boat carrying migrants from Nigeria, Benin and Burkina Faso sank off the coast of Gabon killing 10 people who drowned.
The search for survivors continued into Friday and Gabonese authorities have rescued 23 people to safety still another 20 could not be unaccounted for.
On Friday, a police official said that the boat left Nigeria and was within 15 minutes of arriving in Gabon’s capital Libreville when it went down on Tuesday night.
“Last night we had six bodies and since this morning we have found four more, which makes a total of 10 recovered bodies. The immigrants drowned,” said a member of the nautical brigade of Gabon’s national police, who wanted to remain anonymous.
The Punch reports:
Police said the survivors claimed to have each paid the boat’s crew up to 500,000 CFA ($1,000) to take them to Gabon, where they hoped to find work.
Local newspapers reported that the human traffickers attempted to extort more money from the immigrants and had begun throwing those who could not pay overboard.
Gabonese authorities said they were investigating the cause of the sinking.