Pregnant bride, fiancé die in Lagos boat tragedy

2014-04-03 20:54
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Lagos - A pregnant bride-to-be and her fiancé were killed, along with another expectant mother, a small girl and four men, when a passenger boat sank in Lagos, Nigeria's emergency services said on Thursday.

The boat capsized after hitting a rock on Wednesday evening, Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency told AFP.

"Eight people lost their lives while we were able to rescue 12 others," he said.

One of the two pregnant women who died was due to get married in 10 days' time. Her fiancé also lost his life, said Farinloye.

The incident was the second in three weeks in the waters in and around Nigeria's biggest city, which is surrounded by lagoons and the Atlantic Ocean.

The small, privately owned passenger ferry had launched from the Ebute-Ero neighbourhood in southern Lagos and was headed north across a lagoon towards Ikorodu when the collision occurred.

Twenty passengers were on board.

Last month, an overloaded wooden boat capsized in the Festac Town area of the city, killing 13 while six others had to be rescued. The boat had capacity for only 12 passengers.

Overloading on such vessels is common, as operators often seek to maximise their profits while downplaying safety concerns.

Lagos officials have been trying to promote ferry travel to help ease traffic in the congested megacity of more than 20 million people, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

But commuters have been reluctant to embrace water travel, partly because of safety fears.

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