LAGOS, Nigeria – Six children drowned in Nigeria’s economic capital Lagos when the boat ferrying them to school capsized after colliding with a bigger vessel on the city’s lagoon, the government said Thursday, July 2.
Fourteen children were aboard the boat when it overturned on Wednesday.
“We could rescue eight of the passengers… Six that were missing have been found. Unfortunately, none survived,” Yinka Marinho, head of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), told a news conference.
Marinho said the boat carrying the children collided with a speed boat that developed a technical fault while on the water.
The captain of the speed boat had been arrested, he added.
None of the children were wearing life jackets, which are compulsory on Lagos waterways.
Marinho said Lagos state government had handed out thousands of life jackets since 2012, “to forestall these incidences.”
Many communities and residents on islands in Lagos and other parts of the country travel to work, school and markets daily by boat, in some cases to avoid monster traffic jams.
The National Emergency Management Agency recently warned users and operators of vessels on Lagos waterways to take extra precautions during the current rainy season.
Drownings occur frequently during the rainy season, when ocean levels rise and tidal waves are common. – Rappler.com