20 corpses recovered from Anambra boat accident

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The driver of the capsized boat in Ogbaru LGA in Anambra State, Desmond Amugo has said he was ferrying passengers and not 85.

Recall that several reports claimed seventy-six people died in the accident, with 86 said to be on board.

Amugo who spoke on Sunday at Atani, headquarters of Ogbaru LGA, while briefing government officials on the circumstances that led to the accident said the boat reportedly took off from Onukwu bridge and was heading to Nkwo market, Ogbakuba in Ogbaru LGA when it capsized.

The driver said majority of the passengers on board were women and children trying to escape from their flooded communities.

Amaugo explained that he sailed into a heavy wave which affected the smooth operation of the boat, causing it to hit one of the pillars supporting the Umunnakwe/Ossomala bridge.

He said his efforts to manoeuvre from danger were unsuccessful as he lost control of the boat before it capsized.

He said some of the women had besieged his house early on Friday and persuaded him to ferry them to Ogbakuba, another location that was not submerged by flood.

According to NAN, Bernard Achonu, a bereaved relative, said he lost his wife and three children aged two to six years.

β€œMy wife and the children were moving to a safe place because our house was already submerged,’’ he said.

On his part, Paul Odenigbo, executive secretary of Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said the search for more victims was still ongoing.

He said only nine persons survived the accident and about 20 corpses have been recovered so far.

β€œWhen this kind of accident occurs, it usually takes little time before the dead bodies start to float; we hope that once that happens, all the remaining bodies will be recovered,’’ he said.