An engine boat with 85 passengers, comprising flood victims relocating to safer grounds as well as traders, has capsized in Ogbaru local government area of Anambra state.

The boat, which broke down near Onukwu Bridge at Umunankwo, was ferrying the passengers from Ossomala to Nkwo Ogbakuba market.

According to eye-witnesses, the boat floated for some time before capsizing around 9am on Friday.

Out of the 85 passengers, only nine persons were rescued as the rest reportedly drowned.

The Anambra State Coordinator, Local Emergency Management Committee, Mr. Nnamdi Esimai, who spoke to Channels Television via telephone said the bodies of the victims were yet to be recovered from the water as it would take a day before the bodies could float.

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However, he disclosed that efforts were ongoing to evacuate the bodies once spotted.

He noted that the use of life jackets must be encouraged among the riverine people for safety at all times.

Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, has sympathized with the families of persons involved in the boat mishap.

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“This development is still a shock to the government and good people of Anambra State. I sympathize with the families of people involved,” the Governor Soludo said in a statement.

While regretting the unfortunate incident, Soludo further stated that several interventions have been sent by government to various IDP camps within the State.

He assured that government will continue to do its best to reduce the negative effects of the flood disaster.

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