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35 die in boat mishap

Posted by John Ameh, Onitsha on 2005/08/05 | Views: 332 |

35 die in boat mishap

At least 35 persons, mostly traders, were reported killed when a boat capsized in the River Niger, Anambra State late on Wednesday.

At least 35 persons, mostly traders, were reported killed when a boat capsized in the River Niger, Anambra State late on Wednesday.

The ill-fated boat, believed to be carrying close to 150 passengers, was said to have taken off from Ogbakuba, Ogbaru Local Government Area, for Onitsha, when its engine failed in Umunankwo.

The Onitsha Police Area Commander, Mr. Dennis Anyagafu, who confirmed the accident, declined comments on both the cause and the number of the dead.

There, were, however, conflicting accounts of the incident, with sources putting the figures at between 16 and 35.

Our correspondent learnt that the state government asked the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the local Government, Mr. Chuka Onyema, to investigate the incident and report back to it before the close of work on Thursday.

The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr. Charles Amilo, confirmed that the government had received a distress call on the incident, but was evasive on the details.

He said, “All we have received are conflicting reports and I do not want to be quoted as having given casualty figures.

“News has just been trickling in; some said 16, others said more; for now we do not know what exactly happened there. They said there were survivors.

“We are hoping that the local government chairman will send in his report quickly to enable us make definite statements. We do not have adequate information yet.”

But, Mr. Sunday Nwafili, who represents Ogbaru II Constituency in the state House of Assembly, said many of the deceased were from his constituency.

He blamed the accident on the deplorable state of the Uga Junction-Atani-Ogwu-Ikpre-Rivers State Road, which had forced people to resort to using boats in a bid to reach the riverside communities.

Twenty people drowned on July24, 2005 at the Igbokoda-Aiyetoro waterway in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State when a boat in which they were travelling in capsized.

The PUNCH, Friday, August 05, 2005

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown