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13 feared dead in Benue’s boat mishap

At least 13 people have been feared dead  after a local boat in which they were travelling in capsized on River Buruku in Buruku Local…

At least 13 people have been feared dead  after a local boat in which they were travelling in capsized on River Buruku in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State.

Daily Trust gathered from locals that over 40 people were still missing at the time of this report but the police said a total of 13 people were lost and that three dead bodies have been recovered.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Benue Command, DSP Moses Joel Yamu, told our correspondent that the incident occurred at 8:30pm on Wednesday while the occupants of the local boat were crossing the river.

Yamu said, “13 persons and 18 Bajaj motorcycles were lost in a boat mishap while crossing River Buruku from Abuku heading to Buruku town. Three corpses have so far been recovered and deposited at the hospital. Rescue operations still going on (5:10pm) at the moment,” he said.

The local sources however, alleged that the capsized boat conveyed about 55 people, mainly mourners from Gonduzua community in neighbouring Logo LGA of the state and women traders who had closed for the day from Ugba market in Logo including many motorcycles.

The villagers also claimed that five persons including a young man and his girlfriend were lucky to have swarmed to safety.

Our correspondent recalled that in 2013, a total of 17 people, mostly picnickers lost their lives in similar manner while 23 persons survived the then Boxing Day boat mishap which happened in same River Buruku.

The accident scene is about two and half hour drive from Makurdi, the state capital.

Meanwhile, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has sympathized with families of victims of the boat mishap at the Buruku crossing point of River Katsina-Ala.

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