At least six persons are dead and 80 are injured in the latest figures of casualties released by the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA on the tragic Lagos bus/train collision on Thursday morning.
The Minister of Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Sirika, has immediately directed the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau ( NSIB) to investigate the accident.
In a statement from the Ministry, Sirika’s spokesman, James Odaudu, said, “Following the report of a collision of a passenger train and a bus conveying workers to their work places in Lagos Thursday morning, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has directed the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau experts to commence Immediate investigation into the accident,” the statement said.
NEMA disclosed that two adult female staff of the State Government died on the spot, but four others passed on later on and several injured evacuated at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
A Lagos State Government staff bus was trying to cross the PWD/Sogunle rail crossing while the train coming into Lagos from Abeokuta trapped the bus on its rail.
Sadly, too, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed that not less than 10 passengers were burnt to death at Oyo-Ogbomoso road on Thursday.
The passengers, involved in a head-on collision involving a Mazda and a Toyota Hiace passenger buses, were burnt beyond recognition.
The FRSC Sector Commander in the state, Joshua Adekanye, said the incident occurred at about 5.30 a.m around Kilometres 12 Ijawaya on Oyo-Ogbomoso road.
He said that the buses with registration numbers LEM 963 XA and NSR 222 ZS were coming from Lagos and Nasarawa states respectively.
Adekanye said that the vehicles burst into flames immediately resulting to the burning of the occupants.
He attributed the cause of the accident to speeding and overloading.
He called on motorists to always shun night travelling, speeding and overloading, adding that the fatality would have reduced if the drivers were not on night journey.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has declared his political campaigns suspended and national flags to be flown at half-mast, as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives.
Lagos State PDP Governorship Candidate, Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran (aka Jandor) on a visit to the scene on Thursday urged the state government to provide barriers at railway level crossings.
Describing the incident “as sad and unbecoming in a cosmopolitan state like Lagos”, Adediran said that safety and security of lives and property remained the primary function of any government.
“The incident is so sad. I think it’s about time we begin to have barriers that will stop vehicles when trains are coming.
“This is a kind of responsibility for the government. We cannot continue like this, there should be a barrier on the rail line, when trains are coming.
“I’m sure we are going to get it right, I will be going to the hospital to see the victims so that we know how to provide succour for them.
“This is getting too much, we saw the fire incident that occurred in a market in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government on Wednesday and I will be going there too to see the level of damage.
“We will get it right as a government. We should prevent vehicles from passing, when trains are coming,” the PDP candidate said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accident, which occurred on Thursday morning at the railway level crossing at PWD, saw the train colluding with the staff bus conveying Lagos state workers.
The train dragged the bus from the PWD bus stop to Shogunle bus stop, beside the pedestrian bridge before it stopped.
Two bodies were recovered from the scene, while others were injured including school children, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.
Meanwhile, the PDP candidate also went to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, to see the victims but was unable to gain access to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) of the hospital where they were receiving medical care.