By Precious Igbonwelundu
Death toll in Friday night’s boat accident at Mile Two, Lagos has risen to 17, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said last night.
Over 16 persons in the ill-fated commercial fibre boat went missing after it upturned in the Mile Two water channel around 7:45pm en route Ibeshe, a Lagos suburb.
NEMA’s Lagos Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye, on Saturday confirmed the recovery of two bodies said to be those of a 52-year-old man and a woman, 20.
Giving updates on the incident, Farinloye said 15 other bodies were recovered between Saturday night and Sunday.
He said two more bodies were retrieved from the water on Saturday night and 13 others brought out yesterday.
Farinloye said: “17 bodies have been recovered so far from the Lagos Lagoon after the boat accident. Recovery search continues.”
According to Farinloye, illegal operators were responsible for carrying out services after the 7pm deadline approved by regulators. He said another problem identified was that these illegal operators do not have life jackets for passengers.
He said they also used wooden boats to carry passengers during odd hours which was against the practice put in place by the inland waterways authorities.
“It was revealed that the regulatory bodies have tried to stamp out illegal operation of small boats which hardly use life jackets after official hours,” he said.