Five passengers were declared missing, while three others have been confirmed dead in a boat accident that occurred at the Ibru Jetty waterfront in Lagos on Wednesday.
About 20 passengers had reportedly boarded the boat from the Liverpool Jetty to the Ojo waterside, but midway into the journey, the boat had a head-on collision with another.
It was learnt on Thursday that emergency workers pulled out the corpses of three passengers from the water, while 12 others were rescued.
The Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, CSP Chike Oti, identified the dead passengers as Michael Okoye, Ayuba Musa and Biola Akanni, while the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency declared five others missing as of the time of filing this report.
The General Manager, LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu, said officials of the Lagos State Waterways Authority and local divers rescued some of the victims.
He said, “On getting to the scene of the accident, it was discovered that a boat carrying 20 passengers had capsized between Liverpool and Coconut Under-Bridge around 8.20pm on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.
“Further investigation by the LASEMA Response Team at the scene revealed that the boat was heading for Ojo from Liverpool and capsized few minutes after takeoff at around 8.20pm. Twelve of the passengers were rescued alive by the Lagos State Waterways Authority officials and local divers; two males and one female were confirmed dead, while search and rescue operation was put on hold till the following day for the remaining five missing persons.
“The three dead bodies have, however, been bagged, with two handed over to the State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit to be deposited in a morgue, while the woman, identified as Alhaja, was handed over to her family after proper documentation by Marine police officers. Search and rescue operation has since commenced this morning as well as necessary investigation.”
Oti said the Lagos police command was informed of the incident by the Chairman, Boat Owners Association, Coconut, Lagos, Mr. Bode Egbayelo, adding that three passengers died as a result of the accident.
He, however, said the boat had 22 passengers on board with none missing, while 19 people were rescued.
He stated, “On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, around 8:30pm, following a phone call received from one Bode Egbayelo, Chairman, Boat Owners Association, Coconut Lagos, that a speedboat with the inscription: ‘God Bless Marine’ and conveying 22 passengers from the Liverpool Jetty en route Ojo waterside around 8pm, had a head-on collision with a water boat at the Ibru Jetty waterfront.
“On search and rescue, 19 passengers were rescued, while three drowned. The remains of the three persons were immediately recovered and two of the corpses identified as Michael Okoye and Ayuba Musa, were deposited in the Ikorodu General Hospital’s mortuary for autopsy, while the remains of Biola Akanni were moved by family members, who insisted that autopsy should not be performed on the corpse due to their Islamic belief. Further developments will be communicated.”