Three days after a passenger boat capsized in Bakana, in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, sweeping away six out of 25 persons on board, the body of one of the victims has been found.
It was gathered that the corpse was buried in the early hours of Monday by the bank of the river.
The victim, who was identified as Timothy from Bakana, and his sister were going home when the boat accident occurred.
It was gathered that Bakana youths had been making efforts to recover the remains of persons swept away by the river.
The passenger boat had on Saturday capsized as it was moving from Abonnema Wharf to Bakana, even as 16 persons were said to have been rescued.
A survivor, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the boat was overloaded and none of the passengers was given any life jacket.
She said, “The boat was overloaded and nobody was given a life jacket because of the large number of passengers that were travelling to Bakana for a funeral ceremony and other things.
“Besides, the driver was speeding and he refused to listen to some of us complaining and when we were close to Bakana, the driver took a wrong turn and the boat capsized.”
A relative of a missing passenger, who only identified herself as Obele, said three out of four members of her family were rescued while one had remained missing since Saturday.
“A family of four boarded the boat; the three sisters came out, but one is missing. He was looking out for his three sisters, calling their names when the boat capsized.
“They were close to Bakana when the accident happened; that was why other boat drivers that were on the bank of Bakana river rushed to scene and rescued some of them,” the survivor added.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Bakana Transport Association, Tony Davies, described the boat accident as saddening and called on the state and local governments to help in cleaning the waterways in order to avoid a repeat of the incident.
Davies said, “Our challenge on the water is plastic containers, logs and other floating substances, which our drivers usually complain about.
“The government should help us in cleaning the water; remove all the debris so as to avert a repeat of what happened on Saturday.”
Efforts made by our correspondent to reach the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, to speak on the recovery of one body was not successful, as several calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.