By Davies Iheamnachor
No fewer than 20 persons are feared missing following the collapse of a jetty at Isaka Community in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The incident happened Saturday evening as passengers were struggling to get boat from the community back to Port Harcourt.
It was gathered that there was a big burial programme that attracted many people to the area and that the population had caused rush for boat.
It was gathered that over 80 people had empty on the jetty causing pressure on the old, rickety facility.
It was further learned that when the jetty caved in that all the passengers on it fell the river.
Mr. Isaac Walter, a resident of the area, who witnessed the incident narrated that many persons have not been found since the accident.
He noted that local divers in the area have emptied into the river and that many people have been rescued.
He narrated: “Today we had burial programme at Isaka and a lot of people were in attendance. On our way back people came to board vessel at the jetty.
“On that process, the jetty caved and so many people fell into the river and they were not able to be rescued. Few of them were rescued easily. I was standing a bit away from the point that caved in.
“The jetty is an old jetty. It was during Komo’s period (as military administrator of the state) that they inaugurated that jetty. We have tried to get another jetty but we could not.
“The people came on it, pressure was on the jetty and then it caved in. The people on the jetty at moment were more than 70. Local divers are still combing the area to find survivors. Though some were rescued.
“To be candid I may not say exactly the number of people that have not been found, but they should be up to 20.”
Meanwhile, at presstime the Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, could not confirm the development.