BY PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI — NO fewer than four persons were, weekend, confirmed dead after an engine boat carrying 40 passengers capsized at Oferekpe community in Ikwo South East, Ebonyi State.
The incident which occurred about 8:00p.m. also led to the rescue of 36 others who were on board the boat to Cross River State for a burial.
Confirming the incident, Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, Sylvester Igbo, said the accident occurred when the boat carrying the passengers collided with a log of wood at night and capsized.
He said while four persons lost their lives as a result of the incident, 36 others were rescued and taken to the hospital for treatment, adding that the police had commenced investigation into the incident.
An eyewitness, Mr. Chigbogu Nwite, stated: “The accident happened at about 8:00p.m as Mrs. Nwaka Monday, Mrs. Jennifer Eworo, their kids including 36 other passengers boarded an engine boat to Cross River State to attend a burial. The only thing that divides us and Cross River State is the river.”
According to him, the accident occurred when the boat collided with a log of wood and capsized causing Mrs. Nwaka Monday and Mrs. Jennifer Eworo including their kids who could not swim to drown while 36 other passengers including the captain of the boat, Mr. Oyom Agbor were rescued.
Marine spirits fingered
Nwite, however, attributed the cause of the accident to the activities of marine spirits, arguing that the wounds on the faces of the deceased women and the foams gushing out of the mouths and noses of the dead children were clear indication of such occurrence.