Nine die in Niger Delta boat mishap
( dpa ) - A boat mishap involving a Navy patrol boat and a passenger speedboat on Tuesday claimed nine lives on the Nun River in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital in the Niger Delta.
Four corpses have been recovered, while rescuers were still searching for five others, army Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, commander of the special troops deployed in the area to provide security, said.
He said the passenger boat was carrying 14 passengers, and five had survived.
Musa added that one of the recovered corpses was that of a child.
He said the Navy boat was escorting a house boat belonging to an oil company to a location in the creeks when it ran head-on into the passenger boat, a Yamaha-powered 40-horsepower fiber engine boat.
The driver of the passenger boat, Ataribo Memeni, said he left Yenagoa for Famgbe, a village on the opposite side, when the accident occurred.
Memeni, who looked shocked, expressed surprise that the Navy boat ran into his own even when it was not too dark.
Corpses of the dead were taken to a mortuary in the Bayelsa State capital.