BARELY 10 days after a life was lost in a boat accident in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, two children have been feared dead after a passenger boat carrying 24 passengers capsized on Sunday.
There are indications that two children identified as Destiny Amamima and Ngowari Amamima (both females, but ages not ascertained) are feared dead, even as sources said 22 passengers had since been rescued.
The boat was said to have moved from Marine Base in Port Harcourt on the day and was travelling to Okrika Local Government Area when the incident occurred at about 2 pm.
It was learnt that the two children, who might belong to one family, had been declared missing.
It was learnt that the helmsman of the ill-fated boat had since been arrested by marine police, ostensibly for interrogation to ascertain the circumstance that led to the second boat accident in about two weeks.
“It happened on Sunday in the evening. Out of the 24 persons on board, 22 persons were rescued; two children were missing and there is currently a search for them,” a source, who simply identified himself as Samson, said.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident and told our correspondent that the boat driver had been arrested for interrogation.
Omoni explained that two children were still missing while 22 persons were rescued after the boat capsized somewhere between Abuloma and Kalio Jetty in Okrika LGA.
“Two children are still missing after a boat capsized somewhere between Abuloma and Kalio Jetty in Okrika Local Government Area. Twenty-four persons were on board, 22 of them have been rescued while two children are still missing.
“The boat driver, who was involved in the accident, is currently with us and he is being interrogated. The two children are identified as Destiny Amamima and Ngowari Amamima, both females, are still missing.
“A search team made up of Marine Police and Okirika Police Division has been sent to the river. The investigation will show whether they were putting on lifejackets or not.
“We have warned them that they should ensure that their passengers always put on their lifejackets. But the complaints of passengers are that those lifejackets are old, but they have to use it like that till better ones are provided,” Omoni added.