While the corpse of one of the victims, Chidera Nwekwe, was recovered hours after the incident, the body of the other victim had not been located as of Sunday afternoon. Her identity remained a mystery.
Eyewitnesses at the riverside told our correspondent that the victims were hawkers on the popular Bisalla Road/New Haven junction, about 800 metres from the Enugu State Government House.
It was learnt that they had gone swimming with some of the destitute persons who usually begged for alms on Bisalla Road, but drowned since they were inexperienced swimmers.
Chukwuebuka Nwekwe, the elder brother of one of the victims, said he was shocked that Chidera could go swimming when she had never attempted such.
He said they hailed from Akpugo Village in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.
According to him, the last time he saw her was on Saturday morning, shortly before he left for work.
Chukwuebuka said, “She was only 13 and had never tried swimming. I feel so sad that she had to die this way. She would have been alive if these people who beg for alms on the road had not lured her and her friend to swim at the river.
“The painful thing about the whole situation is that we are orphans and we have no one to turn to.”
The Enugu State Police Command said it was unaware of the incident. However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, said the command would immediately mobilise its officers to the scene.
He said, “Thank you for informing us. I will alert the command and we will mobilise our men to the scene right away. I will get back to you as soon as we are readyto make a statement.”