Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Ten feared dead, others missing as jetty collapses near Port Harcourt

People of Isaka in Okrika Local Government Area said they had complained about the jetty’s dangerous and deteriorating condition to Governor Nyesom Wike for months.

• October 3, 2021
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike [Photo credit: BBC]

A jetty with dozens of people on the queue collapsed near Port Harcourt on Saturday, leaving at least 20 commuters feared dead and 10 others missing.

People of Isaka in Okrika Local Government Area said they had complained about the jetty’s dangerous and deteriorating condition to Governor Nyesom Wike for months, but needed support did not come in until it collapsed and inflicted damages to lives and assets.

A photo of the jetty before collapse taken on the 22 of May 2021
A photo of the jetty before collapse was taken on May 28, 2021 [Photo credit: ELFREDAH KEVIN-ALERECHI]

Isaka, a fishing community in a maze of creeks about five kilometres from Port Harcourt, is only accessible by water. Video taken shortly after the accident showed a massive concrete that caved in and emptied dozens of people into the water. The jetty was overfilled with commuters who were in town for a burial, witnesses said.

Local divers also attempted to rescue victims, but there were fears many had drowned for too long to be rescued. No medical and other emergency services were immediately available at the scene.

Sample Aaron, a community leader, lamented the development by telephone to The Gazette, as well as a local boat driver.

It was yet unclear how many people were killed and rescue efforts were underway as of Sunday morning, locals said. A spokesman for the police did not immediately return a request seeking comments.

The mishap came weeks after a boat submerged in the River Niger, killing dozens between Kebbi and Niger, central Nigeria. Officials said an investigation was being conducted into the accident.

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