Not less than 30 persons are still missing after a boat capsized in a community in Ogbaru local government of Anambra State, despite efforts of divers in the last 48 hours.

The boat was said to be carrying about 85 passengers when the incident happened on Friday.

Findings revealed that the casualty figure may have risen as divers battled to recover more bodies from the waterat Umunnankwo community in the local government area.

It was gathered that the ill-fated boat with about 85 persons on board, took off from Onukwu Bridge and was heading to Nkwo market, Ogbakuba before it capsized.

Pascal Aniegbuna, the Transition Committee Chairman, Ogbaru Local Government Area, who confirmed the incident said “while some of the passengers were rescued, several others, unfortunately lost their lives.”

There were conflicting reports however as a source close to the area stated that only nine persons were rescued while the rest are still missing.

According to a staff of the State Emerge Management Agency (SEMA) who did not want his name mentioned said , “An engine boat that loaded about 85 passengers at Onukwu bridge Ossomala enroute to Nkwo Ogbakuba market capsized this morning. Only 9 passengers were rescued, the rest are yet to be seen.

“I wasn’t there when the boat loaded but the information we got unofficially is that it loaded 85 passengers.”

Speaking with newsmen on Saturday, a former member of the House of Representatives,  Victor Ogene, expressed shock and deep sorrow over the development which he said claimed the lives of several people.

Mr Ogene, who is the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) for the House of Representatives for Ogbaru Federal Constituency in 2023 election, said Ogbaru was devastated and in shock over the horrendous boat accident that took the precious lives of some of its sons and daughters.

“This sad news of this terrible accident is numbing and painful to me as a person and must be very devastating, especially to the immediate families of the victims. This is a collective loss for Ogbaru as a whole and we are united in sorrow,” he said.

“My condolences go to the affected families and also Ogbahu people and communities, who have in recent times found themselves in the jaws of severe flood disaster that has practically submerged all our communities and displaced thousands of people.”

The ex-lawmaker had earlier in a statement appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to come to the rescue of the people of Ogbaru over the flood disaster in the area.

According to him, houses, farms and other businesses in Ogbaru, were swallowed by the horrendous flood, leaving many people in dire agony, sorrow, tears and hopelessness.”

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