Six persons have been confirmed dead, while others sustained injuries, in an accident involving a moving train and a Lagos State government Staff bus, at Shogunle area of Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday.
One of the survivors of the accident, simply called Titilayo, revealed that they begged the driver of the bus to wait for the train to pass, but he refused.
According to the middle-aged female staff of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, who sustained injuries on her lower limbs, “I boarded the staff bus while going to work this morning (yesterday).
“The incident happened around 7.15am. When we got to the intersection at PWD in Ikeja, the driver continued driving.
“Passengers inside the bus, including myself, begged him to wait for the train to pass before crossing, but he didn’t listen.
“Midway, just before he could finish crossing the rail tracks, the accident happened. Many of us were rushed here, while five others were taken to Gbagada General Hospital.”
Meanwhile, Lagos State Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Babatunde Farinloye, has advised the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, to install iron bars at railway level crossings, to prevent trains from running into vehicles.
Recounting what he witnessed at the accident scene, Musa Hayatou, a resident of Sogunle, said: “From what I saw, so far, two people died on the spot.
“Many of them were rescued from the ill fated bus, but some of them were critically injured and it will take the grace of God for them to survive. Some victims who suffered broken bones were rushed to the hospital.
“I don’t know if more people have passed on. Another victim was hit by a large stone. I don’t know whether he was still living or not before he was eventually taken away by officials of Lagos State Emergency Agency, LASEMA.
“I think the fault is from the driver, because before a train gets to a level crossing, it begins to horn from a kilometre away and, if you are a good driver, you should be aware of the loud horn alerting people.
“This is the first time an accident involving a train and a BRT bus happened here. However, we usually have accident involving BRT buses with other vehicles at the bus stop.”
Meanwhile, reports from hospitals where victims of the crash were rushed, indicate that the death toll has increased to seven.
Two died on the spot while five others, who were among the 71 that sustained varying degrees of injuries, later died at LASUTH.
It was learned that the train ran into the staff bus, which was conveying 85 workers of the state government to work, as it tried to cross the rail line at PWD bus stop, and dragged it to Shogunle, where it finally halted and victims were rescued.
According to Babatunde, who witnessed the accident: “The keepers of Nigerian Railway Corporation at that level crossing tried to stop the driver from passing because of the incoming train, but he refused.
“I guess he thought he could pass before the train caught up with him. Unfortunately, the reverse was the case.”