Flood Aftermath: Hunger Leads Boat Owner Into Suicide Mission In Bayelsa
One month after the devastating flood which ravaged Bayelsa State, the level of poverty in the land unleashed by the flood has began to manifest.
The floods had crumbled businesses, disrupted academic activities and destroyed farmlands and it is yet to recede in some parts of the state.
With majority wallowing in poverty that is more severe than it was before the flood, the quest to acquire quick cash has tripled leading a local boat helmsman to willingly hide several gallons of bunkery, (adulterated) fuel in a passenger boat.
Luck was however not on his side as a few drops of fuel had leaked to the floor of the boat towards the engine, and as he started the engine, the 22 passenger boat went up in flames.
Confused and in an attempt to save their lives, the passengers jumped into the river without a life jacket.
The boat, which had loaded at Swali waterside en-route Southern Ijaw coastal communities burnt to ashes, with the helmsman watching as the ashes sunk.
A safety officer, Mr Abadiofoni Bueseme, told Bounce News that the passengers took a wise decision by jumping into the sea.
"The boat was still at the shore so, jumping into the water was best as they can't run anywhere inside the boat for safety.
"We rescued them all including the driver," he said.
An eyewitness, Pa Ayiba, who was fishing by the river shore revealed that the helmsman loaded the gallons of fuel before the passengers boarded the boat, without them knowing.
"The fuel are in big blue gallons.
"He will transport it to another community where it will be used to power generator or sold.
"It's only a wicked, hungry, man who will endanger people's lives for money," he emphasised.
It is not the first time this kind of explosion is happening, as several boats engage in the ferrying of adulterated fuel popularly called 'Asari' from one location to another.
Several lives have been lost to explosions that happened in such boats.
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