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10.04.2006 Disaster

Police uncertain about boat disaster toll

By GNA

Hohoe, April 10, GNA - The Police on Monday said it was unable to state the number of people suspected missing in the Saturday boat disaster on the Volta Lake, near Tapa-Abotoase in the Jasikan District. This is because of the uncertainty of the number of people travelling on the boat.

A Police source told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Hohoe that, it could not confirm the figure of 150 being bandied about, especially in the absence of the two navigators in charge of the boat, who were on the run.

The source, however said, several people could be involved in the accident, considering the nature of the ejection exercise, which led people scrambling for space to leave the Dudzorme Island, designated by the Wildlife Department of Forestry Commission as a Game and Wildlife Reserve.

It is alleged that after several notices to occupiers of the Island and others in the Afram Plains, the Game and Wildlife Task Force entered the Island to execute the order of ejection during which they dismantled all structures.

Mr William Asiedu, Jasikan District Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) said, so far 40 people had been registered as survivors.

He said they had been treated and many reconciled with their families on the main land at the expense of the District Assembly. Mr Felix Anyidoho, Hohoe District Police Crime Officer briefing the overloaded boat hit a tree stump in a storm and capsized. But however, a survivor, Madam Favour Sosu, said the impact opened up the boat from under allowing water into the boat, which then veered from its route, hit another stump and sank.

Mr Solomon Donkor, Jasikan District Chief Executive (DCE) said unprofessional conduct on the part of the two navigators caused the accident.

He observed that two other boats left the Dudzorme Island and arrived safely at Tapa-Abotoase on the same day.

Meanwhile, a team comprising the personnel of the Police, NADMO and Local Fishermen are still looking for survivors and bodies.

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