By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator Reporter, Lagos/
A yet to be identified occupant of an uncoloured Ford bus with Registration number Lagos GGE 972 GE was Monday morning shrugged to death by a fast moving passenger train in a ghastly collision. The crash also swept off a Toyota Highlander jeep marked FST 723 FL into the gully beside the railway. The sad but avoidable incident happened at a railway level crossing at the Public Works Department PWD bus stop along the ever busy Agege motor road. Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu and his team who raced to the scene of accident shortly after it occurred advised motorists to be cautious always while crossing the railings. He said the accident had been transferred to the Railway Police Command for investigation on the remote and immediate cause. Dr. Oke-Osanyintolu was quoted as saying, “Today at about 0745 hour, there was an accident involving a moving train and two vehicles crossing the rail track at Arena Plaza, Oshodi. One Toyota Highlander with Registration number FST 723 FL and Ford with Reg. No Lagos GGE 972 GE. Three (3) people sustained varying degrees of injury and have been taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment. The accidented vehicles were removed from the track for ease of passage of other trains. The matter has been referred to the Railway Police Command for further investigation and necessary action. Upon arrival at the scene, it was discovered that a passenger vehicle 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. The bus was then dragged along a stretch of the journey before the train managed to come to a complete halt. The Agency was able to successfully extricate the passengers and note that there was no loss of life. Casualties have been provided with on site medical care and discharged. Members of the public, especially drivers of commuter buses are reminded to obey traffic regulations to prevent injuries and transport delays. Though the LASEMA boss earlier said there was no life lost, findings revealed that one of the unidentified critically injured persons died in a medical facility where he was being attended to. This is even as motorists have complained about the state of the PWD rail level crossing which they said has an unusual elevated ramp and poor surfacing; making the crossing difficult at any point in time.
*The Highlander jeep swept into the gully beside the railway…
In the meantime, authorities of the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC have described the collision which had left 5 other occupants of the Ford bus in critical conditions at various undisclosed hospitals as sad adding however, that it could have been avoided if the motorist was patient enough. He therefore, advised motorists especially, commuter drivers to be cautious always when doing the railway level crossing. A statement signed by the Route Commander and Sector Public Education Officer, Olabisi Sonusi and obtained by CrimeWorld quoted the Lagos Sector Commander of FRSC, Corps Commander Olusegun Ogungbemide as saying that “The Lagos State Sector Commander of FRSC, Corps Commander, Olusegun Ogungbemide on Monday cautioned motorists against impatience and rush at various railway level crossings in the state to forestall unnecessary crashes involving trains and vehicles. Corps Commander, Olusegun Ogungbemide gave this caution in a statement on Monday in Lagos, following the crash between a train and a passenger vehicle at PWD level crossing. He said motorists should note that the Federal Government in recent times is embracing the Multi-modal means of transportation with the construction of railway tracks that interface with the road which should be applauded. Therefore, motorists are enjoined to be mindful of railway level crossing where trains use to connect with road network. Ogungbemide , who decried the crash, said that motorists should always know that trains have the right of way at all level crossings. Today’s incident where a train collided with a passenger motor was most unfortunate, regrettable and saddened. It was published last week that Lagos-Ogun Mass Transit Trains would commence today which was well published; we expect all motorists should live in this consciousness. He stressed that motorists should always obey traffic rules and regulations to prevent unnecessary injuries and fatalities. We need patience because a moving train cannot be put to a halt immediately. So, road users including pedestrians must wait for train to pass. All motorists should always avoid distracted driving like phone use while driving and excessive speed. We sincerely condole with the families of the deceased and wish the injured quick recovery.”
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