Boat accident claims 20 in RiversBoat accident claims 20 in Rivers

About 20 persons, including children, are feared dead in a boat accident that occurred along the Andoni-Bonny coastal waters in Rivers State on Tuesday.

Though the details of the incident are still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, the accident involved two passenger boats plying the routes.

Most of the victims were said to be from Ngo town, Ataba, and Isiama communities in the Andoni Local government area of the state.

Confirming the incident, the chairman of a group, Obolo Youths Coalition, Bonny LG chapter, Gogo Obolo, said in a telephone chat that the passengers were returning from Ngo town in Andoni  to Bonny Island when the  accident occurred.

While expressing worry that none of the affected victims have been recovered, he urged the Chairman of the local government, Chief Erastus Awortu, and his counterpart in Bonny LG to expedite action to recover the bodies of the victims and extend a hand of support to their families.

Obolo said “The Andoni people residing in Bonny Local Government Area received shocking news of our brothers and sisters involved in a boat accident while returning from the Christmas celebrations.

“While we pray that the rescue effort yield more success to reduce the pain of the accident, we employ the Andoni local government chairman, Chief Erastus Awortu, and his counterpart in Bonny LG,  Anengi Barasua, to visit the family of the victims in this trying period.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Andoni LGA,  Awortu, who also confirmed the boat accident, said he immediately dispatched a rescue team upon receiving a distress call, which led to the rescue of some persons.

Awortu, in a statement he signed and obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday, commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the accident and promised to take over the medical bills of those rescued.

He, however, warned people and residents of Andoni to stop embarking on night journeys on the waterways and asked boat operators to always comply strictly with safety rules.

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