By Yemi Adeleye
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) says the death toll in the Friday’s evening boat mishap near Ikorodu has risen to six, while one victim is still missing.
The General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while providing an update on the incident on Saturday.
According to him, the total number of rescued victims of the ill-fated 20-passenger ferry now stands at 14 as against 16 earlier quoted.
“There were 21 people in the ferry including the captain, 14 of them were rescued alive, the fatalities have increased to six so far from five. One victim is still missing.
“The ongoing search by LASWA, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), local boat operators and the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) continues,” Emmanuel said.
NAN reports that on Friday, a 20-capacity passenger 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.
According to him, the Lagos State Government, through the authority, had repeatedly warned boat operators and passengers against night travel on the Lagos Inland waterways.