10 Indians stranded in Nigeria

Abuja: Ten Indians who survived a ship explosion three months ago are still stranded in Nigeria, awaiting a nod from the authorities to return home. The sailors, who lost their five colleagues while attempting to repair a ship with faulty engines, were detained due to what the oil rich African country`s authorities consider as activities inimical to security.

Nonetheless, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) told PTI that the sailors may regain their freedom next week after the Muslim feast of Eid ul Adha. "There are security issues involved which made the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to work in conjunction with NIMASA. But they may regain their freedom after the holidays," spokesperson for NIMASA Lami Tumaka told PTI. "That is the most I can tell you," she said without explaining in details the issues involved.

Early September, five Indians were killed while 10 others were rescued when a Liberian-flagged ship with 15 sailors onboard exploded in Nigeria`s territorial waters. Four were confirmed dead when their bodies were found while one person remained missing after tragedy struck the ship, ITB Jacksonville, near Apapa port in Nigeria. Eyewitnesses had said they saw the ship`s engine explode as the vessel went ablaze near the commercial capital of Lagos.