Lagos boat mishap death toll rises to 6, 9 still missing

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The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has said the death toll in Friday night’s boat accident in Lagos has risen to six with nine persons still missing.

It said seven persons were rescued alive from the wreckage of the ill -fated boat on the Ebute Ero -Ikorodu waterway.

According to the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor the deceased were all females while three men and four women were rescued. He said rescuers suspended operation around 6:20pm yesterday, adding that the search for the nine persons would continue today.

Read More: 4 dead, 4 missing in Lagos boat mishap

“So far, of the six dead adult females recovered at the Ipakodo ferry terminal and deposited in the Ikorodu General Hospital morgue, three are partly identified. One is Chidera, an undergraduate that studied International Relations awaiting her call-up letter, whose mother was amongst the survivors; Risi and Silifat.

“One of the survivors, Mrs. Ibikunle recounted her experience. They are all resident in Ikorodu. The boat captain and his assistant are among the missing persons. The deceased were deposited at Ikorodu General Hospital morgue.

“LASEMA Response Teams from Lekki and Agbowa, officers of the Nigeria Police Force Ipakodo division, LASAMBUS and LASWA officials were the responders present at the incident,” he said.

The General Manager of LASWA, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel on his part said “The ongoing search by LASWA, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), local boat operators and the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) continues,” Emmanuel said.

Transportation Commissioner  Frederick Oladeinde on a visit to the scene cautioned ferry operators against breaking laid down safety guidelines on waterways and restated that night travels are strictly forbidden.

“If the rule on  no night travelling on the waterways – from 6.00p.m. – had been strictly adhered to by operators, the accident could have been averted,” the commissioner was quoted as saying by  the  Head of Public Affairs of the ministry,Mrs.Bolanle Ogunlola

He added: “the avoidable boat mishap occurred after a 20-passenger capacity commercial ferry with 21 passengers on board took off illegally from Èbúté ¸rÍ Jetty at  past 8.00p.m. heading toward Ikorodu.

“The ferry ran into an unforeseen object on the waterways, causing the boat to capsize.

“Rescue efforts deployed saved 16, five died, with one survivor in critical condition.”

The commissioner, who commiserated with the families of the dead passengers, gave the assurance that the violators would be prosecuted.

It would be recalled that a boat with the name “Lalek Marine” was suspected to have left Ebute Ero Jetty around 8 p.m. after the approved sailing time of 6 p.m. and didn’t arrive at its destination, which was Ikorodu Terminal.

The boat, which took off illegally from Èbúté Ẹrọ Jetty, heading toward Ikorodu, ran into an unforeseen object on the waterways, which resulted in the mishap.

The accident happened at Owode/Ibeshe near Ikorodu at about 8.30 p.m. on Friday evening.

The LASWA boss had said that both the boat operator and the passengers broke the law against night travel on waterways.