The impatience and stubbornness of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) driver conveying civil servants to work caused Thursday morning’s train accident at the Public Works Department (PWD) bus stop.
The driver who escaped unhurt in the accident that killed six people and injured over 80 others, was said to have been warned by Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) flag officers to stay away.
It was also alleged that passengers of the staff bus with registration number 04A48LA, had advised the driver to exercise patience since a train was advancing but he wanted to make a swift movement.
Unfortunately, his action, witnesses said, led to the train which was coming from Abeokuta and had passed Ikeja Along, to magnet the bus on the track.
It was learned as soon as the locomotive engine approached the trapped bus, it swept it off, dragging it to Sogunle/Adekunle Fajuyi where it halted.
A woman who gave her name as Linda said that all the deceased were occupants of the bus, adding that some of them died from shock.
She said: “I was on my way to work when I saw what happened. The bus driver was simply irresponsible. He caused that accident. Those men that usually hold flags to stop people from passing when the train is advancing tried to stop him but he refused to comply.
“Maybe, he thought he could quickly pass before the train came close but his stupidity has killed other innocent people. May God never allow evil to befall me over someone’s mistake.”
A resident, Musa Yahatu, who said he was among the first people to arrive at the scene, said that four persons were recovered dead before the arrival of emergency workers.
He said he went to the nearby Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base to seek help for the victims and spent over 40 minutes there without being attended to, adding that even calls to the Lagos State Emergency hotlines were not going through at a point.
Hayatu said that it was sympathizers like him that rallied around, and went into the BRT to see how they could help the victims, adding that at least four bodies were brought out in his presence before rescuers arrived.
Reacting to the accident, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Lagos Sector Commander, Babatunde Farinloye, warned motorists to always exercise caution when crossing rail lines.
He said it was imperative for motorists to always give right of way to trains at all railway crossing lines.
Farinloye who visited the accident scene said there were 80 passengers on the bus, adding that four were confirmed dead at the time of his visit.
UPDATE: Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu briefs on the BRT, train accident at PWD
– Location, PWD Sogunle
– Bus ‘33’ moving from Isolo to Alausa
– Driver Survived, now in Police custody
– Preliminary report: Driver error
– Occupants: Mostly Civil Servants and dependents
– NRC Update expected
Casualties Update (as of this time):
– 85 passengers on board
– 6 deaths (2 brought in dead, as announced by LASEMA, while 4 more dead at the hospital)
– 42 moderate injuries
– 29 serious injuries
– 8 mild injuries
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu thanked the LASEMA, Security agencies, Staff and Students of LASUTH Ikeja for the response
The Governor also thanked the Staff of the Lagos State Government for showing up for their loved ones and also encouraging them to be hopeful.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu suspends his campaigns for 3 days:
– Declares half day work Friday for Civil Servants
– All Flags to be raised at Half Mast
– Declared 3 Days of Mourning for the State
Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu thanked his fellow contestants, Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and Mr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran for coming to the hospital to also commiserate with the Victims and the State Government.
Finally, Governor Sanwo-Olu says the area is a triage center, which cases of this magnitude are immediately profiled and attended to, therefore quickly identifying the various levels of injuries of the patients and each will be sent to various wards & others for treatment.
Triage originates from the French word “trier,” which is used to describe the processes of sorting and organization. Triage is utilized in the healthcare community to categorize patients based on the severity of their injuries and, by extension, the order in which multiple patients require care and monitoring.