NEMA recovers 13 bodies, rescues 6 from Lagos canoe mishap

Thirteen people, including two kids, have been confirmed dead in the late Tuesday canoe mishap that occurred in Festac Town area of Lagos State.

Six other people were, on Wednesday, rescued by a combined team of officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Marine Police, the National Inland Waterways, Police Disaster Unit and Nigerian Navy Air wing, the spokesperson of  NEMA , Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed.

There have been uncertainties on the number of the occupants of the canoes that capsized while trying to move people from one side of Festac to another side.

As of Wednesday afternoon, efforts were still on to see if the bodies of  other occupants of the canoe could be  recovered, as local divers were contacted.

Meanwhile, officials who took part in the rescue and recovery exercise attributed the mishap to overloading of the canoe by the operator, who reportedly lost his life in the incident.

The canoe was said to have capsized at about two metres away from its take-off point at 41, Road Junction, Festac Town.

The NEMA spokesperson soberly disclosed that two bodies of young children were part of the bodies recovered by rescue operators at the scene.

He also added that local divers had been contacted to help search if the bodies of the five missing people could be recovered.

The canoe, which ordinarily should not have taken more than 10 people, was said to have about 22 people on board.

He added that “the passengers might have confused the operator, who was paddling the canoe as there was a very serious noise and argument over overloading.”

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