Four persons died in Warri River on Friday in a boat mishap involving the funeral party to the burial of late Thomas Ekpemupolo, father of Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo).
A community leader in Gbaramatu Kingdom said on Saturday in Warri that the victims included a man and three women.
He said that two of the female victims were from Kurutie and Ogulaha communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom. It was gathered that the victims boarded the ill-fated speed boat at the Miller Waterside in Warri to attend the weeklong funeral which commenced on Friday.
“We were already at the funeral celebrating Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo when we got news of the accident.
“Initially, we were told only two persons died; later we heard that the victims were four.
”The male victim, who was apparently from the northern part of the country, was on a mission to sell some wares at the funeral ground,” he said
Late Ekpemupolo died on Sept. 7 at Lily Clinic, Warri. Delta Police spokesperson, SP Celestina Kalu, confirmed the incident but said the number of casualties was yet to be ascertained.
”I was regretfully informed that AW-19 boat mounted with 115 horsepower Yamaha engine capsized at Warri River.
”My patrol team rescued 11 persons; searching and investigation is ongoing.
”For your information, there is no manifest to show the number of passengers in the boat.
”So the number of deaths is not ascertained yet, the bodies will expectedly float by tomorrow,” said the Delta police spokesperson.
Tompolo did not attend the burial of his father due to his current faceoff with the Nigerian government over corruption allegations.