Four World Bank consultants have drowned in Egbe River in Egbe community of Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The four were said to be workers on a World Bank assessment mission to the river and had commenced work on Tuesday night.
They were said to have come from the Development Dams and Irrigation Schemes, Kaduna State and had died when the boat carrying seven of them and their equipment capsized.
Sources said four of the occupants of the boat, who did not wear life jackets died while three others survived.
The names of the deceased were given as Bamidele Waheed Alayande, Tirimisiyu Alaran, David Malu and one Albert.
The three survivors – Charles Ehinlaye, Bukky Ajet and Yahaya Mohammed were said to be receiving treatment in the hospital.
The bodies of the dead were fished out by local fishermen, who were said to have been mobilised by the Chairman of Gbonyin Local Government Area, Mrs. Folasade Akinrinmola.
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Information, Lanre Ogunsuyi, who had visited the scene, described the accident as unfortunate.
A resident told our correspondent on the telephone that she was notified of the incident by the traditional ruler of the community.
She said, “We immediately mobilised a rescue team and an ambulance and those wearing life-jackets were rescued. The rescued people were the ones who told us that others were in the water. Their bodies were later retrieved by the local fishermen.”
On their mission to the river, the council boss said, “We believe that they were there based on some of the proposals we had written on the dam and how it could be put to use and we believe that the World Bank had started work on the river based on the calls.”
The bodies of the victims had been deposited at the mortuary in Ode-Ekiti, the headquarters of the council.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti State Police Command, Mr. Alberto Adeyemi, confirmed the incident.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr. Ayodeji Adesua, has commiserated with the families of the four experts.