By Idowu Gabriel
Four World Bank officials have reportedly drowned at Egbe Dam in Egbe Ekiti, Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Egbe Dam is the biggest of the six dams in the state.
Mrs Folasade Akinrinmola, the chairman of the council and the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Albert Adeyemi, both confirmed this development to newsmen on Thursday.
Akinrinmola said that the incident which occurred on Wednesday’s night involved a team of seven contractors employed by the World Bank on an assessment mission to the dam.
She said that the team had commenced work on Tuesday night from a section of the dam and moving to the other section when the incident happened on Wednesday.
She said that traditional ruler of Egbe notified her of the incident.
“We immediately mobilised a rescue team and an ambulance, and in the process, those wearing life jackets were rescued.
“The rescued people were the ones who told us that others were in the water.
“The bodies of those that had drowned were later retrieved by the local fishermen.”
“One of the dead victims was said to be the son of the leader of the team who providentially escaped unhurt.
“We believe that they came to Ekiti based on some of the proposals we had written on the dam on how it can be put to use.
“We believe that the World Bank has started work on the dam based on their findings,” she said.
The council boss who described the incident as sad and unfortunate , added that the bodies of the dead have been deposited at the mortuary in Ode-Ekiti, the headquarters of the council area.
DSP Alberto Adeyemi, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Ekiti State Police Command, also confirmed the incident.
“It is true that the boat transporting the team capsized, four of them died while three survived,” he said.