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11 Oct 2018

11-year-old pupil feared dead as he disappears after downpour in Calabar

An 11-year-old pupil of Junior Science Secondary School in Calabar, Cross River State, Victor Charles, has been feared dead after being swept away by flood.

It was gathered that Charles was washed into a deep water channel along the Mayne Avenue by Atakpa Street in the metropolis.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the incident, which happened onTuesday after a downpour that lasted for over two hours, left residents of the area confused as the body of the boy had yet to be found.

An eyewitness, Umana Okoro, said the boy was coming back from school with two of his schoolmates when the incident happened.

He said, “The tragedy happened near my house. The water coming from the big gutter was heavy; the boys were standing by my house and suddenly, Charles fell into a gutter in front of my house. The flood took him into the big water channel at Atakpa.

“The big channel usually overflows anytime the rain is heavy and due to the amount of debris people pour into the gutter; you will hardly see the drainage channel.

“The place needs to be worked on because the sand inside that gutter needs to be removed. The water from the big channel has caused terrible erosion in that place and something needs to be done.”

When PUNCH Metro visited the school, both teachers and students were in sober mood, saying they did not believe that the pupil was gone.

One of Charles’ classmates, Blessed Ekpo, said he was friendly.

“We all like him because he is a smart and friendly person. We heard that he drowned. We will miss him,” he said.

A man, who said he was the father of the deceased but did not want his name mentioned, said the body of Victor had yet to be found.

“My brothers and I have searched everywhere around the big gutter, but we have not seen Charles’ corpse.

“We have engaged the services of a search team, but we have not succeeded because of the rains.

“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to members of the public that anyone who finds him should please contact the school so that he can be buried properly. I cannot rest untill I find my boy,” he said.

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