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4 drown in fresh Yeji boat accident

Four people are reported dead in a fresh accident at Yeji on the Volta Lake in the Pru District of the Brong Ahafo Region after a canoe carrying over 15 passengers capsized.

The incident occurred around 9pm on Monday May 9, when some travellers were being ferried across the lake, in a canoe to Makango in the Gonja East district.

This brings the number of accidents this year at the same venue to two.

According to reports, some travellers got to the shores very late when operators of the ferry had closed.

But the adamant travellers, who said they were in a hurry, sought the services of the operator of a canoe that could carry only five people. However, over twenty people were reported to have been cramped into the canoe, which capsized midway through the journey.

Eleven people have been rescued so far, with four people dead as the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Ghana Navy make frantic efforts to rescue more survivors.

The deceased include a woman and two children from the same family, while the fourth body is yet to be identified.

Meanwhile the District Chief Executive, Emmanuel Opoku, has criticised the victims for flouting the law in the area, barring boats from crossing the river after 6pm.

According to him, “we have been meeting the Navy and passengers and have advised them not to travel after 6pm. One of them involved called Makango and the boat arrived after 9pm when the Navy and everybody had closed from the place.”

He said they had distributed life jackets for use by passengers, but because they were trying to cross the lake outside the permitted hours, they could not obtain the jackets. He said the authorities would do everything possible to get more people rescued.

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