One passenger was killed on Monday after a bus and a highlander Jeep collided with a moving commuter train at PWD inward Oshodi, Lagos.
The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu who confirmed the incident said the bus with six passengers suddenly veered onto the tracks and collided with the train.
“The agency received distress calls at 8.12 am on the above. Upon arrival at the scene, it was discovered that a passenger motor GGE 972 GE with six passengers had veered onto the train tracks while crossing the rail at PWD inward Oshodi and subsequently collided with a scheduled commuter train,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.
The two vehicles were then dragged along for a stretch of the journey before the train managed to come to a complete halt.
The Agency was able to successfully extricate a total of eight passengers, six with minor injuries were provided with on-site medical care while two males including a 20-year old sustained severe injuries and were taken to LASUTH for further treatment. The other adult male subsequently lost his life
The accident vehicles were recovered off the road with the aid of the Agency’s Light rescue equipment while traffic management measures were put in place by the emergency responders, alongside taskforce officials and Nigeria Police.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said motorists in Lagos State need extra care at level crossings, with the resumption of train on narrow guage and the about-to-commence operations on the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Guage railline.
The Lagos Railway District Manager, Mr Jerry Oche, gave th advice in an interview with the Newsmen on Monday, following an accident involving a passenger train and a commercial bus.
Oche said: “There is an extra level of care that every driver must take now. We should not forget that we are planning to start the standard guage.
“The original plan was that there would be no level crossing but because of the temporary arrangement we have now, there are level crossings around.”
According to him, the speed of a train on a standard guage is more than that of trains on narrow gauge.
“We plead with every driver approaching level crossings to stop at a safe distance, look left and right, listen for the sound or horn of a coming train, and if it is clear, he should proceed.
“If it is not clear, even if the train is coming from a distance, he should stop because of the probability of getting stalled on the track if he attempts to cross.
“There is also the probability of the vehicle in front of him getting stalled and he is trapped.
”Let him drive safely because it is only the living that fulfil dreams and aspirations,” he said.
The NRC boss, who decried media reports that the train involved in the accident ran into the bus, said that it was the bus that got trapped on rail track when the train was passing.
“The train was on its track, it didn’t leave the track to go and hit the bus.
“We have resumed today, I am assuming a lot of people have taken it for granted that, for the past six months, we have not run; so, the laxity is there.
“However, this does not serve an excuse for you to play on the track.
“The vehicle was on the track, the train was coming; of course the braking distance for a train is not the same with that of a car, so the train hit it,” he said.
According to him, the train which left Ijoko at 06:30a.m. on Monday hit a vehicle stuck at the Arena Level Crossing.
The official said that the driver of the vehicle was able to escape.
He explained that as the train hit the vehicle, the vehicle hit another vehicle, and the train dragged it to Oshodi Under Bridge. On the number of casualties, Oche said:
“The Lagos district management is going to the scene now so that we can see what happened and how we can prevent a reoccurrence.
“We pray there is no death,” Oche said.
The manager said that Lagos State Emergency Management Agency workers had pushed the vehicle off the track, adding that the train had got to its destination.