The driver of the boat that capsized on Friday at Ogbaru in Anambra State, Desmond Amaiho, has said most of the people involved in the accident were women and children escaping from their flooded communities.

He also said he had 48 passengers on board and not 85 as earlier reported.

Amaugo stated this on Sunday at Atani, headquarters of Ogbaru Local Government Area, while briefing government officials on the circumstances that led to the accident.

Nine passengers have been seen alive, while 20 corpses have been recovered so far from the accident. Ten of the corpses were recovered on Sunday.

Mr Amaugo narrated how he sailed into a heavy wave, which affected the smooth operation of the boat and resulted in it hitting one of the pillars supporting the Umunnakwe/Ossomala Bridge.

He said his spirited efforts to manoeuvre the boat away from danger were unsuccessful as he lost control of the boat before it capsized.

The driver also said some of the women had besieged his house very early on Friday and persuaded him to ferry them to Ogbakuba, another location that was not submerged by flood.

Family members who identified some of the corpses were seen lamenting their losses.

My wife and the children were moving to a safe place because our house was already submerged,” he said.

The Executive Secretary, Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, Paul Odenigbo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the search for more victims was still ongoing.

He confirmed that nine people survived the accident.

“When this kind of accident occurs, it usually take little time before the bodies start to float; we hope that once that happens, all the remaining bodies will be recovered,” he said.

Meanwhile, a flooded worship place in a primary school at Iyiowa- Odekpe collapsed on Sunday.

Peter Okala, a resident, told NAN that many buildings in the area were already submerged.

“As I speak with you, many buildings in Odekpe are covered by water, including my house, the worship place and many other structures.

“The ground floors of most of the buildings are already covered by water and several people are passing through harrowing experiences.

“Let Governor Chukwuma Soludo and the relevant federal government agencies come to our help because, with more rains, the situation.” NAN

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