12 dead in Nigeria boat capsize

Twelve people were killed when a passenger boat capsized in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos on Sunday, the government said, blaming the accident on overcrowding.

“Three more bodies have now been confirmed,” the Lagos State Waterway Authority (LASWA) said in a statement that raised the initial death toll.

“We sympathise with the families of the deceased as 12 lives were lost,” it said, adding that four people are in hospital.

The sinking occurred in the waterfront community of Ilashe.

The government blamed the incident on overcrowding and illegal activities of boat operators.

“An unfortunate incident occurred at Ilashe today… arising from overloading of passengers on a banana boat taking off from an illegal jetty which has become a perennial issue of the Lagos state government to rid our waterfront areas of illegal operators,” it said.

Although the number of passengers on the ill-fated boat could not be immediately determined, the government said a rescue operation was under way. (AFP)