Tragedy struck in the Ebute Ero axis of Lagos on Friday night when a commercial passenger boat capsized leaving four passengers dead, 10 injured and others missing.
Although the exact number of the missing passengers couldn’t be ascertained since some of the injured victims were still unconscious and thus unable to speak on the number of passengers on board as at the the of filing this report, it was learnt that only two of them drowned.
The ill-fated boat belonging to LALEK MARINE was suspected to have left Ebute Ero Jetty around 8pm in violation of the approved sailing time which is 6pm and did not arrive at its destination which was Ikorodu Terminal. The boat was said to have capsized at Owode Ibeshe, not too far away from Ikorodu.
Confirming the tragic incident, the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said that the ill-fated boat was heading to Ikorodu when it capsized around 8pm, leaving some passengers dead and some injured with yet to be ascertained number of passengers missing. He that the boat left Ebute Ero jetty in violation of night travel on water.
Osayintolu said: “On arrival at the incident scene, information gathered was that 14 people on a local boat expedition were inside a boat which capsized around 8pm having departed Ebute-Ero enroute Ikorodu in violation of night time restrictions on water travel.”
He said that though search and rescued had commenced on the waterways but added that rescue efforts were being carried out under challenges of darkness due to the time the accident happened.
“Search and rescue operations commenced albeit under extremely challenging nightfall conditions. Ten persons rescued alive, two bodies recovered captain of the boat still missing.
Further updates to follow,” he added.
On his part, the General Manager of the the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Oluwadamilola Emmanuel said that 20 passengers were presumed on board.
He said: “LASWA search party, local boat operators, Marine Police and LASEMA convened search and so far 11 passengers had been rescued with one person in critical condition with four fatalities. Four persons are still missing.”