Indications emerged last night that about 10 persons were confirmed dead and four others missing after a commercial boat with 19 persons on board capsized in Apapa Local Government axis of Lagos State. The tragic incident occurred on Wednesday but was made known through Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in a statement yesterday. Although, the exact cause of the accident couldn’t be ascertained, a survivor stated that the boat captain got distracted while trying to collect fares from a passenger, adding that that action led to its capsizing after hitting the tidal waves.
The tragic incident occurred at a time the state government was encouraging commuters to embrace water transportation as alternative to road, especially during the closure of the Third Maindland Bridge. Saturday Telegraph gathered that the tragic incident, which occured on Wednesday around 6pm had since thrown residents of the community into a mourning mood.
It was also learnt that aside from the deceased and missing passengers, about five persons were pulled out of water by state emergency and rescue officials after the boat overturned and threw the entire passengers into the lagoon It was gathered that the ill-fated boat left Kirikiri jetty for Badagry jetty in Badagry Local Government Area with 19 passengers and capsized about 6pm.
A survivor of the ill-fated boat blamed the accident on the captain’s non-adherence to waterways safety measures. Saturday Telegraph gathered that some of the passengers were not on life jacket and that was what was responsible for the high casualty rate. Confirming the tragic incident, General Manager of LASWA, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, in a statement, said the emergency and regulatory authorities were already on waterways for search and rescue operations. Emmanuel added that the boat captain was already under detention with marine police for further investigation and sanctions.