10 dead in Lagos boat mishap

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Ten people were killed, five rescued and four others went missing when a passenger boat capsized in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, a government agency said on Saturday.

The boat was heading to Badagry from the Kirikiri area of the city late Wednesday when it sank in heavy currents, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) said in a statement.

“A total of 19 persons were involved in the incident; five were rescued with 10 persons confirmed dead and four passengers still unaccounted for,” the agency said.

It said most of the passengers were not wearing life jackets, contrary to maritime safety regulations.

“LASWA has apprehended the boat captain and has handed him over to marine police for further investigation and sanctions,” it said.

“The emergency and regulatory authorities are still on a search and rescue operation,” it added.

Boat accidents are common in Nigeria because of over-loading, disregard of safety guidelines, lack of maintenance and bad weather.

Last month, dozens of passengers were killed when their overcrowded boat capsized in the central Benue state.

A day earlier, seven people had died in Ikorodu, outside Lagos, when their boat sank following heavy rains.

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