No fewer than 12 persons died on Sunday in a boat accident in the Ilashe area of Lagos State.
It was gathered that the boat capsized shortly after leaving an unauthorised jetty.
The Lagos State Government confirmed the death of the 12 passengers, adding that four others were rescued and were being treated in a hospital.
It stated that a rescue team from the Lagos State Waterways Authority was still on the ground to rescue more victims, adding that the accident was caused by overloading and the failure of the passengers to put on standard life jackets.
The Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority, Abisola Kamson, said, “The accident was caused by overloading of passengers on a Banana boat and operation of illegal jetty.
“The government commiserates with the families of those that lost their loved ones, but this accident has again brought to the fore the need for the National Inland Waterways Authority to respect the verdict of the Court of Appeal which upheld the powers of a state government to control its intra-inland waterways.
“Since the judgement was pronounced, NIWA has rejected all the state’s water guards monitoring standards for federal-owned jetties.”
He enjoined Lagosians to wear standard life jackets at all times on waterways, adding that LASWA rescue team would be on the ground until all passengers were found.
He also urged boat operators and other stakeholders in the inland waterways sector to always adhere to safety standards.
The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency, South-West, Ibrahim Farinloye, also confirmed the incident, saying some of the victims were returning from a church.
“There is no indication that anyone had life jacket on when the incident happened,” he added.