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General News of Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Source: peacefmonline

Another Volta Lake Disaster: Boat Goes Up In Flames can confirm that one of the biggest boat on the Volta Lake at Tepa-Abotoase burst into flames in the afternon of 31st December 2011, resulting in the death of a number of people on board the vessel.

The 7feet high and 46feet long cargo boat, was ferrying passengers from Tepa-Abotoase to Buja, one of the villages along the Volta Lake.

Number of passengers travelling at the time of the incident is yet unclear, but some say about 70 passengers, most of whom were women and children might have been on board the vessel.

The cargo boat was said to be the main source of transport for villagers and townsfolk along the Volta Lake.

Peacefm's Volta Regional Correspondent, Baba Adams Saddick, visited the scene of the wreckage and reports of charred bodies washed ashore.

According to Baba Adams quoting eye-witnesses accounts, the boat took off with one engine and after covering a distance of about 200 metres, the boat operator, Prosper Kudedzi attempted switching on the second engine when the fire outbreak occured.

"In their attempt to put off the fire, the filter where the pre-mix fuel flows into the engine was accidentally pulled off resulting in the fuel spilling onto the boat...the small fire then spread to where two barrels of pre-mix fuel was stored resulting in a huge explosion," he recounted.

According to him, but for the timely arrival of some small canoes dispatched to rescue passengers who could not swim, a different story would have been told.

So far, the bodies of two victims have been retrieved whiles two others, including the boat operator, who sustained life threatening injuries are on admission at the Abotoase Health center.

"I visited another village not far away from the scene of the incident and saw the bodies of two female victims which had been washed ashore," Baba Adams said.

It is believed that some of the cargo on board the boat included hard liquour and large quantities of the locally brewed gin popularly called akpeteshie.