A boat carrying 28 passengers, mostly market women and children, capsized after hitting oil barges that were parked in a waterway in Gelegele, a riverine community in Edo State,
Seven of the passengers died in the accident, while 18 others were rescued.
The boat was travelling from Benin City to Gelegele, a distance of 35 kilometers, last week Thursday.
However, it stopped at Gelegele to drop off some passengers and refuel.
But, as the boat was restarting its engine, a strong water current pushed it towards the oil barges that belonged to Dubri Oil, a multinational oil company operating in the area.
The boat sank under the barges, making it difficult for the passengers to escape.
The Marine Police and the local community responded quickly to the incident, launching a rescue operation.
It was gathered that they managed to save 18 passengers, but seven others lost their lives.
The bodies of the deceased were taken to Time Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital for further arrangements.
The local authorities and residents expressed their anger and grief over the incident, blaming Dubri Oil for the accident.
They said that the company did not park its barges properly, causing obstruction in the waterway.
They also said that the company did not provide any assistance or ambulance to the victims.
They demanded an investigation into the incident and compensation for the affected families.
Some of the survivors shared their harrowing experiences, saying that they sustained injuries while being rescued from beneath the barges.
They also lamented the loss of their fellow market women, who were their main source of income.
The Edo State Police Command has been informed of the incident by the Marine Police.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, said he would comment on the matter later.