The Lagos State government has said that five passengers and two crew members of a commercial boat, which capsized while travelling from Oke Ira Nla, Ajah to Bayeku in Ikorodu have died.
They were earlier rescued and rushed to a hospital when the boat in which they were traveling capsized.
The boat belong to the Bayeku Ferry Association.
Mrs Abisola Kamson, the Managing Director of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA announced this on Monday in Lagos.
She said that upon receiving the notification of the accident, the authority’s water guards were immediately deployed to the scene to assist in rescue efforts.
She claimed to have later led a delegation of state officials, including the Permanent Secretary, Local Government and Community Affairs, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, and the Baale of Baiyeku, Chief Saheed Aleje Ajibode to the site of the incident.
She confirmed that all passengers on board were wearing life jackets.
The LASWA boss said preliminary investigation by the Authority revealed that aside the mechanical fault that developed when the steering cable connected to the engine propeller cut, the captain of the boat was possibly also over-speeding, adding that he is presently being questioned by the Marine Police.
“The Lagos State Government in its drive to promote a multi-modal transport system, especially the movement of passengers, goods and services on its waterways will under no circumstances compromise safety standards and the protection of lives and property.
“As such we restate our commitment to the promotion of all safety measures and ensure that all operators comply with all safety standards in line with global best practices,” she said.
A survivor, Yusuf Adekoya, told newsmen before the boat started the journey from Oke-Ira jetty, the operator battled start the engine for more than 15 minutes before it eventually started.
On noticing this, he said that the operator was advised to change the boat “but he assured us of safety”.
“On starting the engine, he sped off but minutes into the journey, the engine stopped working and this increased our apprehension and we started asking questions but he reluctantly broke the news that the engine was hooked,” Adekoya said.