By Monsuru Olowoopejo
One person was, yesterday, confirmed dead and 27 others injured when a 30-seater commercial boat identified as HMS 1, capsized on Ikorodu waterways. The boat capsized about 400 meters away from its take-off point, Origin Jetty, at Ikorodu, when it reportedly collided with a log abandoned on the waterways by sawmill operators, at about 9.55 a.m.
It was learned the deceased drowned immediately the Victoria Island bound boat capsized behind Dangote Company, Ebutte Ikorodu, while the other 27 passengers were reportedly saved by the efforts of the Emergency Rescue Team from being drowned.
Residents blamed the accident on over-loading and over speeding on the part of the operator, arguing that the fatality could have been averted if the boat was not on high speed.
Confirming the disaster, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Mr. Michael Akindele, warned boat operators to avoid over-speeding and to always comply with safety regulations on the water ways to avoid loss of lives. He said proper investigation would be conducted on the incident.
On his part, the Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA, Engr. Abisola Kamson noted that the rescue operation started immediately, saying, “27 passengers were rescued from the incident, but unfortunately one passenger was confirmed dead at the scene of the incident. Investigation reveals that all passengers were wearing life jackets.”
She reiterated that LASWA and NIWA have issued out new guidelines and standards to boat operators in Lagos aimed at sanitizing and improving the water-ways including a minimum double hull standard, among others.
Kamson added that the state government will continue to intensify efforts to speed up the implementation of the new reforms in the water-ways sector so as to prevent any unfortunate future occurrences.