Intending couple, pregnant women, die in Lagos boat accident

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An intending couple, two pregnant women and a young girl were among the eight passengers who lost their lives in a Lagos fresh boat accident. The intending couple, according sources, had already scheduled their wedding for this weekend.

The body of the bride-to-be had been identified in the morgue while the groom-to-be is still missing.

Twenty-eight passengers were said to be on board the boat belonging to Bell Marine which capsized about 6pm on Wednesday at the Third Mainland Bridge – Oworonsoki axis on its way to Majidun area of Ikorodu.

Apart from those who drowned, other their valuables, including cash, were lost in the accident. Investigation shows that most of the victims were residents of Ikorodu who chose to travel by water to circumvent the perennial traffic gridlock on Ikorodu Road. They were said to be returning home from Ebute Ero Jetty, where they boarded the boat.

But 12 passengers were lucky to be rescued by the emergency agencies, while a few of the passengers died on their way to the hospital. Some of the survivors said they lost valuable items. One of them said she lost N200,000. The management of Bell Marine claimed the boat hit a rock before it capsized, claiming that no one was missing.

Emergency agencies, including local divers, marine policemen, Navy Marine, police disaster rescue unit, officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) had a hectic time trying to recover more bodies.

There were, however, conflicting reports from the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) and Lagos State Inland Waterways Authority (LASWA).

NEMA claimed two pregnant women died in the incident while LASWA argued it was only a pregnant woman. But a car belonging to one of the victims was still parked at the Bell Marine Jetty. The victim’s body is yet to be found.

One of the survivors, Abimbola Bunmi, said 25 passengers were on board. Bunmi is a trader on Lagos Island who deals on shoes at Ebute Ero market. Another victim, identified as Isaac Akere, was declared missing.

Meanwhile, LASWA said in a statement that the accident involved a passenger boat belonging to Bell Marine and has 21 passengers on board when it capsized.

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