Four passengers have been killed while four others are missing after a boat mishap on Friday night in Ikorodu area of Lagos.
The boat, marked Lalek Marine, carrying 20 passengers was heading to Ikorodu from Ebute-Ero when it capsized.
Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General Manager of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), who confirmed the accident, said it happened at Owode/Ibeshe near Ikorodu at about 8.00 p.m. on Friday evening.
He said that 11 passengers were rescued while one person was critically injured.
“On Friday night, a-20 capacity passenger boat with the name “Lalek Marine” was suspected to have left Ebute Ero Jetty around 8.00 p.m. (after the approved sailing time of 6.00 p.m.) and didn’t arrive at its destination which was Ikorodu Terminal.
“The boat capsized at Owode Ibeshe, not too far away from Ikorodu.
“As at this time, 20 passengers were presumed on board.
“LASWA search party, local boat operators, Marine Police and the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) convened search and so far eleven passengers were rescued alive with one person in critical condition.
“We have four fatalities while four still missing.
“Search and rescue is still ongoing,’’ the LASWA Manager said, adding that the captain of the ferry was still missing and being searched for.
According to him both the boat operator and the passengers broke the law against night travel on waterways.
He said that the boat, which took off illegally from Èbúté Ẹrọ jetty, heading towards Ikorodu, ran into an unforeseen object on the waterways, which resulted in the mishap.
“Normally, boats are supposed to operate between 6.30 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. according to rules but during this COVID-19, operations should be between 6.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m.’’
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