There was tragedy at Ijede area of Ikorodu, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Saturday after a passenger boat capsized with seven people confirmed dead and eight others still missing.
The 20-passenger capacity boat was reportedly conveying 17 passengers from Ijede en route Badore when it capsized at about 10.20am Saturday.
Rescue operation was carried out by the combined effort of Lagos State Water Ways Authority, Marine Police, National Inland Water Ways Authority, Emergency Response Team of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Lagos State Fire Service and the local divers.
General Manager, LASEMA, Michael Akindele said preliminary investigation revealed that the boat belonging to Aki Marine had 17 passengers and two crew members on board, and was alleged to have collided at a dredging point en route Ijede.
Akindele said seven passengers were confirmed dead, while 4 male others were rescued and were receiving treatment at Ijede General Hospital.
He said rescue operation is still on to recover the remaining eight passengers still missing.
“The agency is still expecting the boat manifest. The rescue operation is ongoing while further investigation would be carried out by the appropriate agencies to ascertain the actual cause of the accident,” he said.
The LASEMA boss advised boat operators and passengers to observe necessary safety measures such as the use of life jacket and regular checks of boat facilities before embarking on water transportation.
Boat mishaps have become frequent in Lagos State with several people killed so far.
During the last administration, the committee set up to look into a boat mishap in Ikorodu indicted government officials, especially the Lagos State Waterways Agency, LASWA, of not doing enough to salvage the situation.
Last week, a boat capsized in Ikorodu, killing one on board, with the General Manager, LASWA, Mrs. Abisola Kamson saying that the incident was caused by early morning fog which led to poor visibility for the captains of the two boats.
She said the enforcement of lifejackets on waterways reduced the number of casualties as all passengers on board were wearing their life jackets.
According to her, immediately the incident was reported, LASWA deployed its water guards to monitor and oversight the situation adding that the Marine Police have also been notified and are currently carrying out an investigation.
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