A woman died and 19 others rescued after a passenger boat capsized in Lagos on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the deceased’s husband was also in the boat but survived the mishap.
The boat belonging to Sealink Boat Services left Ikorodu in the morning and was heading to Lagos Island before it capsized at Ebute-Ero.
Our correspondent gathered that police arrested the boat conductor after the driver fled the scene.
Operatives of the Marine Police, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and the Lagos Waterways Authority were deployed to the scene to save the situation.
Eyewitnesses said the boat rammed into a submerged dredger before it upturned and threw all passengers into the water.
The General Manager of LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu, said the accident occurred at about 10:00 a.m., adding that the cause of the accident was still unknown.
Tiamiyu said RRS provided aerial support for emergency responders in the water, adding that ambulances were used to evacuate the victims to a hospital in Lagos Island for observation.
He said: “The rescued passengers along with the conductor of the boat were taken to Marine Police Office in Keffi, Obalende, Lagos.
“The capsized boat has equally been recovered and taken to marine police yard while the corpse of the dead passenger has been deposited in the mortuary.”
Managing Director of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, confirmed that the crew of the ill-fated boat have been taken into police custody.
He said, “A passenger boat named Sealink with 20 passengers and two crew onboard coming from Ikorodu to CMS ran over a submerged wooden boat close to Third Mainland Bridge. 19 passengers were carried to safety to Ebute Ero Jetty.
“The LASWA emergency response team recovered a female body (identified as a police officer attached to Zone Two police station) and handed over the corpse to the Marine Police. Her husband is an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
“The submerged Sealink boat has been salvaged and towed to a secure location off the waterways. Salvage operations is also taking place to get the submerged wooden boat off the navigable channel,” the LASWA boss said.
While commiserating with the family of the deceased, Emmanuel assured that the Lagos State Government would not relent in coming up with policies and programmes aimed at ensuring safety on the waterways.