Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Boat tragedy Off Calabar Coast leaving about 45 dead

Source: Sahara Reporters
Sahara Reporters has learned that most of the nearly 170 passengers traveling in a huge boat are feared dead in a disaster earlier Tuesday. The boat reportedly capsized some 40 nautical miles off the coast of Calabar.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Nigeria had earlier reported nine people dead and two survivors however eyewitnesses told our correspondent that the passengers were traveling in a massive wooden boat that took off from Oron, Akwa Ibom State, and headed for the French-speaking west African nation of Gabon. The boat capsized off the waters in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

A source at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) confirmed that the corpses of 45 victims of the disaster had been deposited at the hospital’s morgue. He added that the hospital and other hospitals in the area were getting ready to receive more bodies as they were discovered.
David Akate, the assistant director for information at the Cross River Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), also confirmed the incident, but did not give further details.
But a correspondent of SaharaReporters spoke to several eyewitnesses. One of them said the boat was carrying 168 passengers. The source added that frantic efforts were underway at the scene of the disaster. “We are trying our best to rescue any of the passengers and to recover corpses,” the source said.
Ikechukwu Egwu, a marine transporter at the Calabar Inland Waterways, also confirmed the incident. He said that most of the passengers in the boat were Igbo traders who were headed for Gabon. Mr. Egwu said, “They are mostly Igbo traders who travelled to Oron to board the wooden boat because it was cheaper.”
SaharaReporters learned that the recovered corpses were deposited at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital instead of Malabo, where the mishap occurred, because the dead were believed to be Nigerians.
One source revealed that some corpses were also taken to hospitals in Oron, Akwa Ibom.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Designed by Digilabz and Info-Tech