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Cows Were Aboard Sunken Yeji Boat - DCE   
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Apart from being overloaded with passengers, the boat that sunk on the Volta River on Sunday May 29 and resulted in the drowning of six children (all under three-years-old) also had cows onboard, District Chief Executive Emmanuel Kwame Poku has revealed in an interview with Prince Minkah on Class91.3fm’s Executive Breakfast Show on Monday May 30.

The boat capsised after hitting a tree stump, a correspondent with Alive FM in the Brong Ahafo Region, Daniel Takyi, reported.

According to the DCE, the cows kept getting the boat off balance in their attempt to get up during the trip, per accounts related to him after the accident. “…I know they were overloaded and somebody even told me there were some cows in the boat, so anytime the cows want to stand up in the [boat], you know what will happen. So, it’s true overloading and the tree stumps are the causes of the numerous accidents we have been getting”.

Mr Poku said the naval officers patrolling both ends of the River have been mandated to check overloading, and, so, wondered how come the problem persists.

In an earlier interview with Prince Minkah on the same programme, DSP Abraham Bansah, Yeji District Police Commander, also confirmed that overloading played a major role in the accident.

He has, therefore, suggested that there be naval officers positioned to patrol both ends of the Volta River to ensure that vessel owners do not overload.

Apart from the six deaths, three other passengers on the vessel are still unaccounted for, after the navy and officers from the National Disaster Management Organisation managed to rescue most of the 67 passengers.

The passengers were being ferried from Nantwekope to Yeji in the region when the accident occurred.

A survivor told journalists that he had to struggle to save his wife and mother in the course of the rescue efforts.

The rescue team is still searching for a woman believed to be in her 80’s, as well as two young men. They are also feared to have drowned.

There have been numerous boat accidents on the Volta River in the past years. Three people died about a week ago on the same River in a similar accident.

As part of measures to curb such accidents, the DCE revealed that a law has been passed banning boat movements on the River after 6pm. He said currently the pontoon used in ferrying load and passengers across the River, “is out of use, so, we depend on the boats.” He also said despite the availability of life jackets, passengers shun using them due to the heat it attracts.
Source: classfmonline.com

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