Five persons have been confirmed dead and 30 others rescued in a boat accident that occurred in River Niger around Mmiata Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.
It was gathered that the boat was sailing from Kogi State to Anambra through the River Niger before it got capsized at the Mmiata banks of the river.
A source in the riverine area of the community told our correspondent that the incident happened on Sunday morning.
A video made available to by the source showed that the deceased were mainly women and children.
Though the deceased persons have not been identified, they were said to hail from a riverine part of Kogi State, and were travelling by water to Onitsha for various businesses.
The source said, “Early this morning, there was a boat that capsized at the River Niger. Some of the victims are from parts of Kogi State and Mmiata Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area.
“Most of the victims were women and children. Rescue operators who arrived the scene some moments later dived into the waters and recovered their lifeless bodies and they were deposited by the bank of the river. We were able to count over 10 lifeless bodies as rescue operations were still going on.”
The Anambra State Police Command spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident when contacted, saying that its operatives received a distress call and rushed to the scene.
Ikenga, however, added that the rescue operators were able to rescue about 30 persons, while five were already dead.
Ikenga said, “The situation is under control. Our marine operatives on getting the distress call about the incident responded swiftly.
“We were able to rescue over 30 of the passengers alive and recovered the five lifeless bodies in the depths of the sea and the capsized boat.
“Preliminary information revealed that the boat was from Kogi State, conveying goods and passengers before the unfortunate incident occurred.
“Meanwhile, the cause is yet to be ascertained as the investigation is ongoing, please.”
When also contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the State Emergency Management Authority, Chinyere Nwoye, said the agency was making contact to identify the victims.
“We are making contact and we have also called the police. We heard that the victims were mostly from Kogi. But we plan to visit the here.”
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial Zone, which also covers the community where the incident happened, Tony Nwoye, lamented the boat crash as he commiserated with the bereaved families of the victims.
Nwoye hinged the cause of the mishap on the lack of a good transportation system while adding that he would provide speed boats for the riverine people under his constituency.