By Ikeugonna Eleke
Three persons identified as students of Community Secondary School, Atani, in Ogbaru Local government area have drowned in the River Niger.
Fides gathered that the students who were five in number were returning home in a canoe after the closure of schools as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, when their canoe capsized as a result of turbulence in the sea.
The news of the death of the students was corroborated by the spokesperson of the Anambra Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Mr Edwin Okadigbo.
He said, ‘We received a distress call on 23/03/2020 at about 18:00hrs, following a distress call. NSCDC Ogbaru Divisional Office, was alerted that a canoe carrying three students of Community Secondary School, Atani, capsized in the River Niger and the students were declared missing.’
Okadigbo said preliminary investigation revealed the three students who were on their way to Ochuche in Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State were the children of one Mr Chukwuemeka of Oroma-Etiti, Anam in Anambra West, but residing at Ochuche.
He gave the cause of the incident as turbulence on the Niger River following the heavy downpour of March 23.
He added, ‘Two out of the five students that were in the canoe, however managed to survive the capsizing. Efforts are being intensified at recovering the missing three.’