Four people were feared dead in Warri River on Friday in a boat mishap involving the funeral party to the burial of late Thomas Ekpemupolo, father of Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo).
A community leader in Gbaramatu Kingdom, who requested anonymity, told journalists on Saturday in Warri that the victims included a man and three women.
He said two of the female victims were from Kurutie and Ogulaha communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the victims boarded the ill-fated speed boat at the Miller Waterside in Warri to attend the weeklong funeral which commenced on Friday.
“We were already at the funeral celebrating Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo when we got news of the accident.
“Initially, we were told only two persons died, later we heard that the victims were four.
”The male victim, who was apparently from the northern part of the country, was on a mission to sell some wares at the funeral ground,” he said.
Mr. Ekpemupolo died on September 7 at Lily Clinic, Warri.
Delta Police spokesperson, Celestina Kalu, who confirmed the incident, said the number of casualties were yet to be ascertained.
“I was regretfully informed that AW-19 boat mounted with 115 horsepower Yamaha engine capsized at Warri river.
“My patrol team rescued 11 persons; searching and investigation is ongoing.
“For your information, there is no manifest to show the number of passengers in the boat.
“So the number of deaths is not certain yet, the bodies will float by tomorrow,” said the Delta police spokesperson.
Tompolo is a former militant leader in the area. He is wanted by law enforcement agents in Nigeria.