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BREAKING NEWS: Unexpected Death And Tragedy Looms In Edo State As 7 Die In Edo Boat Mishap [GRAPHIC PHOTOS]

Tragedy struck in the oil exploring community of Gelegele River in Ovia North East Local Government of Edo State as seven women out of the 28 passengers were drowned as a boat carrying them capsized after it rammed into oil barges that belong to a multi-national oil exploring Company said to have been wrongly parked.

Gelegele is a small riverine community and host to Dubri multinational oil exploring company is about 35 kilometres away from Benin City, the Edo State Capital.

The mishap was said to have occurred last week Thursday morning when a passenger boat carrying mainly market women, including children from Ofunama community had parked at Gelegele to dropped some passengers and discovered that it ran out of fuel and in the process of refuelling was pushed by heavy water current which forced boat against the barges parked blocking water way.

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An incident, the officials of the local government and members of the community said could have been avoided.

Some of the victims that managed to have survived were brought out from under the barges by the men of the marine police stationed in Gelegele.

But the Vice Chairman of Ovia South West , an Ijaw indigene, Blessing Perewari, who visited the scene of the incident sympathized with families of the tragic mishap and said the dead have been deposited at the mortuary.

Narrating what led to the incident said, “From what I heard I was also at the scene where the boat capsized. About 28 adults, two pregnant women and three babies were involved. When they got to the Gelegele waterside there was this Dubri oil company barge that was parked in parallel.

“Because of the way the barges were parked caused obstruction on the waterway. So, this particular boat carrying 28 persons after dropping two passengers tried to restart the boat but the engine failed to respond.

“And because of the high current of the river it now pushed the boat into the Dubri oil barges and it torpedoed under the barges making it difficult for the victims to come out. Some of them that knows how to swim manage to escape while others were trapped under the barges

“With the help of the Marine Police and other community inhabitants were able to rescue 18 of the passengers and seven died. The remains of the dead have been deposited at Time Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital.

Perewari blamed the Oil Company for their inability to provide ambulances to convey the dead.

One of the rescue operation team and a member of the community, Comarde Joseph Gbale, also corroborated the position of the Vice chairman on what led to the tragic mishap.

“Even though there was carelessness on the part of the driver of the boat, the barges should not have been parked in a double manner thereby narrowing the water way.

“As at last Friday morning when we got there not even a single corpse has been recovered. The local nurse said thirteen passengers were brought to the health centre and were attended to. One of the survivors said she sustained injury while she was being pulled out from under the barges.

“We were shocked that Dubri oil didn’t show any concern and no ambulance, a multi-national company exploring oil in the community.

An officer of the Marine Police who is authorize to speak on the matter said the report of the incident have been sent to the Edo State Police Command in Benin.

As at the time of filing Ithe report, the Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor when contacted said he was in a meeting and promised to respond later.

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JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE (Bunady.com). He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email: contact.bunady@gmail.com

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