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Friday, 22 March 2013
(NEWS): NEMA provides details; says 128 and not 166 died
The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, on Thursday said that a total of 29 people have been rescued from the boat accident near Malabo, 40 nautical miles from Calabar, Cross River State.
The agency’s Head of Public Relations, Yushau Shuaib, who made this known, had in a statement hours after the mishap, added that nine bodies recovered so far were been deposited in the morgue at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
As at Tuesday,Two of the survivors had been rescued.
Mr. Shuaib said the 27 additional survivors were saved through the combined efforts of NEMA, Cross River Emergency Management Agency, CRSEMA, Nigerian Maritime Agency for Security and Administration, NIMASA, Addax Petroleum Nigeria Limited, and local fishermen in the area.
The spokesman said the actual number of passengers in the boat at the time of the accident was 128 and not 166 as widely reported.
The boat, he said, began its journey on the night of Friday, March 15, 2013 at Dahomey, Benin Republic, heading towards Gabon. He said the boat capsized at about 9 p.m. shortly after a stopover at the beach in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
One of the rescued survivors, Kive Sani, is reported to have said that the vessel was conveying illegal migrants from Oron, including women, children and citizens of Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Senegal and some Igbo traders from the South Eastern part of Nigeria. It was disclosed that they were all heading to Gabon.