The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Sunday confirmed eight persons dead and 38 others rescued in a boat mishap that occurred in Anambra State.
The NIWA General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Alhaji Jibril Darda’u, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Lokoja and made available to newsmen on Sunday.
Darda’u said that the “sad and unfortunate” incident happened at Umumu Anam, Anambra West Local Government Area, ”between Thursday and Friday”.
“The authority sincerely commiserates with the families and friends of the deceased and prayed to God to grant rest to their souls,” he said.
He said that preliminary reports indicated that the “wooden engine boat rammed into a snag on the water channel and capsized with at least 50 passengers on board.
“From the records, eight persons were confirmed dead at the scene, while 38 others were rescued immediately.
“The sad incident involved a passenger boat travelling from Idah in Kogi to Onitsha in Anambra.
“Upon the receipt of the sad report, relevant personnel from the Marine Department were deployed for rescue, recovery and proper investigation.
“The recovery efforts are ongoing and the authority will provide detailed information to the public as soon as the field officers report back to the headquarters,” Darda’u said.
He, however, assured the public of NIWA’s commitment and determination to do everything possible to ensure safer inland waterways for the movement of people and goods.