10 people allegedly lost their lives as a boat carrying about 35 passengers heading for Port Harcourt capsized and sunk, according to statements by a rescue official and a local government spokesman.
“We can confirm that 10 persons died early today when a Port Harcourt-bound passenger boat sank,” National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) co-ordinator Onimode Bandele told AFP.
Bandele went on to state that rescue efforts are in progress as NEMA was working with other security agencies to carry out the rescue operation.
The chairman of Bonny local government council, Adonye Wilcox, also confirmed the accident, which he said occurred at 7:45 am (0645 GMT).
“Information available… indicates that the boat hit an object on the way and sank,” he said.
“Local divers have rescued 17 persons, including four members of the National Youth Service Corps, while 10 persons died as a result of the accident”.
A search was being conducted for the eight people unaccounted for, Wilcox added.
Boat accidents in Nigeria occur frequently and arme often caused by overloading, poor vessel maintainance, speeding and poor lighting.