Eight feared dead, 19 injured in Lagos train, Ogun road accidents
NRC to prevent indiscriminate crossing of rail track
It was tragedy in Lagos yesterday as three passengers were crushed by the train in which they were travelling when it collided with a truck that was making an illegal turn on the railway track at Fagba Ojurin, Ifako Ijaye, Abbatoir area.
The victims were hanging on the moving train when the accident happened. They died on the spot, while a yet to be determined number of other passengers sustained severe injuries. The injured were rushed to various hospitals around the area by officials of the Lagos State Ambulance Services (Lasambus) while the deceased were taken to a nearby mortuary.
The State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, was at the scene of the incident. Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos Neighbourhood and Safety Corps, Rapid Response Squad, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and police officers were on ground to co-ordinate rescue operations.
Lagos State Police Command spokesman, Olarinde Famous-Cole, who confirmed the incident, was initially silent on the number of casualties. “We just got the information. Our policemen and those attached to the railway command are in control of the situation. I cannot confirm any death, but I can tell you that some persons were injured,” he said. He was to say later that three persons died in the accident.
An eye witness, Ismail Daburam said: “At about 7 a.m., a trailer driven by one Hamza had just finished offloading cows and was making a detour when it mistakenly rammed into a moving train. The driver and the conductor of the truck were injured. Five persons hanging on top of the train fell off and died instantly, while others were injured. Immediately the accident occurred, the train continued its journey. The train was coming from Ogun State.”
Also yesterday, a crash at Kara Bridge along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at 7.00 a.m. claimed about five lives with 19 others sustaining serious injuries. It was a multiple crash involving 15 vehicles. The resultant traffic gridlock lasted for several hours before free flow was restored by officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).
LASEMA’s General Manager, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, said the agency received distress calls through the emergency toll free number and from the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).He said proper investigation would be conducted to establish the circumstances of both accidents. The LASEMA’s boss advised motorists to adhere to road safety rules and asked persons who hang on moving train to discontinue the dangerous practice.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said it will build barriers to secure right of way and prevent moving trains from crossing tracks with humans and animals.
On the rail mishap, the Director, Public Relations of Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mahmoud Yakubu, confirmed the death of three people; two on the spot and one on the way to the hospital.
“We have been putting measures in place, telling people to stay inside the train and not to hang but when the demand is more than supply, the case is the reverse.
“A barrier is going to be put in place all over the gauge to prevent people and animals from crossing at will at any point. We were there last week to caution the trailer drivers to stop parking at the rail line,” he said.
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