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Delta State Police Command has confirmed that no fewer than four persons were reported missing following a boat accident that occurred on the waterways of the Benin River in the Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The acting Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Chucks Orisewezie, confirmed the incident to journalists on Sunday in Warri.
Orisewezie said, “A boat conveying 22 persons, which left the Ebrohimi community and was headed for Koko, capsized in the Ureju community around 1.20pm.
“The occupants of the boat were three policemen and 19 community people.
“Eighteen persons, including the three policemen, have been rescued, while the search is still on for the remaining four missing persons.
“Two of the rescued victims have been taken to the hospital for medical care.
“I must clarify that there were no Independent National Electoral Commission staff or NYSC members on board, just as there were no election materials in the boat.
“Investigation into the accident is already on.”
Also, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Delta State, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, refuted reports that INEC workers were involved in the accident.
“I understand that my staff members and ad hoc workers were not involved. They are safe. I don’t think the accident affected the election materials because it happened later in the day,” Omorogbe was quoted as saying by the News Agency of Nigeria.
Sources said the ill-fated boat was returning from election duty in the Ebrohimi community and was on its way to Koko, the administrative headquarters of the Warri North Local Government when the incident happened.