10 persons were feared dead and others wounded following a boat capsize yesterday at Ebe village in Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi State.
About 100 commuters on the 50-seater boat were said to be going to the Lokoja five-day market when the incident occurred.
According to an eyewitness, the boat sank in the River Niger due to turbulence caused by a suspected clash between a security patrol team and a boat supposedly carrying oil bunkerers.
The patrol team was chasing a boat, thought to be transporting drums of crude oil, which was spotted on the River Niger at about midnight on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the incident was due to the diversion by the passenger boat from the original channel in the River Niger to River Burara due to the poor dredging carried out in the River Niger.
The passengers were coming to Lokoja market from Ebe village in Kuba-North community in Lokoja Local Government Area of the state and were to disembark in Jamata village where they were to pick a bus to the market.
Tayo Fadile, General Manager of National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, in charge of Corporate Services, confirmed the incident, but said that they were yet to receive a complete report on the accident.
He confirmed that the boat capsized at about 1.00 a.m. on Tuesday, but refused to give the number of casualties.
The injured are currently receiving treatment at a private hospital in Lokoja
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