No fewer than seven persons died yesterday when a passenger boat capsized in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The boat belonging to Aki Marine was said to have capsized at about 10:30am at Ijede after it collided at a dredging point enroute Ijede.
The General Manager Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, (LASEMA), Michael Akindele, confirmed that the 20-passenger capacity boat had 17 passenger and two crew members on board.
Contrary to reports from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the LASEMA boss said four victims have been rescued.
He added that those rescued were presently receiving treatment at Ijede General Hospital.
According to him, rescue operation was still on to recover the remaining eight passengers still missing.
He said the agency was expecting the boat manifest while further investigation would be carried out by the appropriate agencies to ascertain the actual cause of the accident.
Akindele advised boat operators and passengers to observe necessary safety measures such as the use of life jacket and regular checks of their engines.
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has summoned an emergency meeting with all commercial boat operators in the state on Tuesday to check future incidence.
The agency also vowed to clamp down on boat operators who continue to contravene the rules and regulations guiding their operations.
A statement by the Managing Director of LASWA, Mrs. Abisola Kamson, said the meeting, which will focus on the compliance of safety standards of vessels operating on the state waterways, will hold at the LASWA office in Falomo Ikoyi by 9:30am.
”The Lagos State Government will not tolerate the operation of Substandard Vessels on the Waterways.
“Any individual or corporate entity found to be operating vessels not deemed water worthy will be prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the law,” she said.
She said although all passengers on the boat were wearing their life jackets, the covered design of the boat made rescue efforts challenging and difficult.