March 20, 2013 – Malabo-Calabar Boat Accident Killed Over 150 Nigerians – NEMA
Few hours after a deadly disaster that killed over 60 people in Kano, another disaster by mother nature has killed over 150 boat passengers in the coast of Malabo, 40 miles from Calabar.
According to SaharaReporters nearly all the 170 passengers traveling in a huge boat are feared dead in a disaster earlier Tuesday. The boat reportedly capsized some 40 nautical miles off the coast of Calabar.
Though NEMA (Nigeria’ National Emergency Management Agency) in an earlier report said only 9 people were killed but eyewitnesses all the boat passengers might have died.
It was reported that the passengers were traveling in a massive wooden boat that took off from Oron, Akwa Ibom State, and headed for the French-speaking west African nation of Gabon. The boat capsized off the waters in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
A source at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) confirmed that the corpses of 45 victims of the disaster had been deposited at the hospital’s morgue. He added that the hospital and other hospitals in the area were getting ready to receive more bodies as they were discovered.
David Akate, the assistant director for information at the Cross River Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), also confirmed the incident, but did not give further details.
A Saraha source said the boat was carrying 168 passengers. The source added that frantic efforts were underway at the scene of the disaster. “We are trying our best to rescue any of the passengers and to recover corpses,” the source said.
Ikechukwu Egwu, a marine transporter at the Calabar Inland Waterways, also confirmed the incident. He said that most of the passengers in the boat were Igbo traders who were headed for Gabon. Mr. Egwu said, “They are mostly Igbo traders who travelled to Oron to board the wooden boat because it was cheaper.”
The deceased corpses were deposited at University of Calabar Teaching Hospital mortuary while a few others were taken to several hospitals in Oron, Akwa Ibom state.(Sahara)