9 dead, scores injured
By Job Osazuwa
It was a day of disaster in Lagos and Ogun states yesterday following two separate accidents involving a train, trucks, buses and cars, which claimed nine lives, leaving several others wounded.
In Lagos, Daily Sun learnt, a train rammed unto a truck whose driver was said to be trying to make a U-turn on the railway track around Fagba-Ojurin Ifako-Ijaye Abattoir area, while the multiple road accident occurred on the popular Kara Bridge along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.
General manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, disclosed that his agency received an emergency call at about 7am through its emergency toll-free number, 767, and promptly responded to the information that a road accident involving a number of vehicles had occurred on the Kara Bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. He said that his men immediately mobilised to the scene, where they joined officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), who were already on hand to rescues survivors and evacuate the dead.
Tiamiyu said that, according an eyewitness, the accident happened at about 6am, leading to five casualties, while 19 people sustained various degrees of injury. He noted that the survivors consisted of 11 adult males and eight females.
The crash led to a gridlock on the busy highway and subsequently grounded economic activities for hours as both sides of the dual carriageway were locked down.
Tiamiyu told Daily Sun that, despite the fact that the disaster occurred outside his agency’s area of jurisdiction, it swiftly deployed its operatives and equipment to the scene and assisted in clearing the affected vehicles to pave way for free flow of traffic.
He said: “When the response unit arrived the scene of the incident, it discovered that the multiple accident involved 15 vehicles consisting of seven trucks, a pick-up van, three cars and buses.
“The vehicles consisted of a Man Diesel truck with registration number JJJ 342 XD (Lagos), two DAF trucks with registration number APP 769 XR (Lagos) and GGE 818 XC ( Lagos), while the third had an unknown registration number. Also involved in the crash were two Sino trucks with registration numbers KRD 122 XC (Lagos), KRD 123 XC (Lagos) and a Mack truck with registration number BDG 561 XG (Lagos). Others were a Nissan Cabster car with registration XS 216 KSF (Lagos) and two Honda Accord cars with registration numbers MUS 411 DG (Lagos) and APP 303 DV (Lagos).
“There were also a Lexus Jeep with registration number FKJ 475 BR (Lagos), a Volkswagen Kombi (Danfo) with registration number KTU 594 XM (Lagos), a Ford bus with registration number KTU 340 XU (Lagos), a Mazda bus with registration number AKD 520 XW (Lagos) and a Nissan bus with registration number BDG 27 AA (Lagos).”
Tiamiyu stated that the cause of the multiple-car accident was yet to be ascertained.
On his part, the FRSC sector commander, Ogun State Command, Clement Oladele, told Daily Sun that his men arrived at the accident scene by 6.10am, 10 minutes after the accident was reported to the command.
He disclosed that the injured victims were taken to the Accident and Emergency Hospital, Ojota, Gbagada General Hospital and Ikeja General Hospital all in Lagos. He also disclosed that the dead were deposited at Onabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, Ogun State, adding that one of the dead bodies was deposited at Ikeja General Hospital while the last one was taken to the Accident and Emergency Centre, Ojota.
He corroborated Tiamiyu’s position that the cause of the ghastly accident was yet to be unravelled, even as he cautioned motorists to drive safely, especially during this festive period.
The Lagos tragedy, which happened in the Abattoir area, according to investigations by the LASEMA, involved a truck with registration number MYM 63 XA, which was trying to make a U-turn on the railway tracks. The driver of the truck, it was gathered was not quick enough in getting out of the way before a train smashed into it.
Four male adults, who were believed to be squatting on the speeding train, were confirmed dead, while there were an undisclosed number of persons who sustained injuries. The injured were attended to by officials of the Lagos State Ambulance Service, while the deceased were deposited at the mortuary of a government hospital.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, was at the scene of the incident to supervise the emergency responders.
Other emergency teams who were at the scene of the accident were the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos Neighbourhood and Safety Corps, Rapid Response Squad, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Police.
According to Tiamiyu, proper investigation would be conducted to unravel the causes of the incidents. He advised motorists to adhere to road safety rules, and particularly charged people who were in the habit of hanging onto trains/vehicles to get free rides to desist from such dangerous acts in order to avoid a re-currence of the unfortunate incident of the train collision with the truck.