Tragedy yesterday struck Tungan Samia village in Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State when a new-born baby and a teenage boy were reportedly drowned after a boat capsized. The tragedy which struck in Wushishi town in the early hours of the morning occurred a few moments after the woman was delivered of a new-born baby.
The baby boy and his little uncle died in the boat mishap on the river Kaduna; the teenager and the baby died a few minutes after delivery. It was learnt that the mother of the new-born baby survived the accident. According to an eyewitness account, the mother of the baby, her husband and the young boy were travelling from Tungan Samia village to Wushishi General Hospital where the woman was expected to put to bed since there are no health facilities in their village, which is far away from Wushishi.
They were said to have embarked on the journey in a canoe which also reportedly was carrying a motorcycle. It was gathered that midway through the journey, the woman went into labour and subsequently delivered the baby, a development that made occupants of the canoe to decide that a motorcycle which was also being conveyed to Wushishi in the boat be offloaded for fear that the smell of petrol could affect the new-born baby.
While the motorcycle was being removed, the eyewitness said the boat tilted to one side, leading to its capsizing and subsequently the death of the new-born baby and his little uncle. However, divers were able to rescue the woman and her husband and also recovered the remains of the baby and the boy which were buried along the river bank according to culture and tradition. The Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Inga, when contacted, confirmed the incident but did not give details.
He also did not give the names of the occupants of the boat. Inga who described the incident as “very sad” said water transportation had been causing untimely deaths in the state in recent times despite the sensitisation carried out by the agency. “We are tired of losing innocent lives through boat mishaps. We have completed arrangements to bulk purchase life jackets that would be sold at reduced rates to water transporters,” he said.
Source: The New Telegram