By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Lagos State Government yesterday confirmed three persons dead and five others missing after a passenger boat capsized mid-way to destination on the lagoon.
The 20-seater passenger boat including two operators, capsized when it collided with another wooden boat on Wednesday evening.
Eyewitness disclosed that after the mishap, 12 passengers were rescued by Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA officials and other emergency agencies.
Other agencies were Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Lagos State Ambulance Services, LASAMBUS, State Environmental Health Management Unit, SEHMU.
It was gathered that the accident would have been prevented if the boat operator had adhered to LASWA cautions against night operation in the state.
Confirming the mishap, General Manager of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA, Damilola Emmanuel, disclosed that the boat enroute Ojo from Coconut jetty, a suburb in Lagos, capzised mid-sea.
He hinted that investigation conducted revealed that the boats were a passenger boat, “God Bless” and a wooden water supply service boat.
According to him, unfortunately three persons were confirmed dead and their bodies have been deposited in the morgue, while 12 persons were rescued alive and five persons are missing.
He stressed that efforts of the rescue operators aided rescue of 12 passengers, assuring that recovery efforts will continue until those missing have been found.
.why we banned from night operation
The LASWA boss however expressed concern that boat operators were in the habit of flouting the order by the agency to desist from operating at night due to the dangers inherent.
Emmanuel also urged passengers to always ensure that they wear life jackets before embarking on any trip on the waterways and ensure they are worn properly to prevent loss of lives.
He said the State Government in conjunction with the Marine Police will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, adding that the operator of the boat would also be held accountable.