Lagos laments the six fatalities and 79 injuries from the train-bus incident. The sight of numerous victims of the Lagos bus-train disaster being treated by medical professionals yesterday at Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, was painful.
A nursing mother and seven other government employees of Lagos State were murdered in the disaster, and the victims who were treated outside were survivors.
They perished when the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) train traveling along Agege Motor Road in Shogunle, Lagos, collided with their staff bus, which was carrying the markings Lagos: 04A-48LA.
The bus driver’s alleged reckless driving in an attempt to beat the train traffic light at a railroad crossing, just before the train slammed into the bus, was the immediate cause of the tragedy.
Promise Fineman, a security guard stationed nearby, told The Guardian: “I heard the sounds a few minutes after 7:00 a.m. When I emerged, there were already three individuals on the ground. Instead of saving, I observed individuals recording films. I got into the bus as a result and discovered five already deceased passengers there.
“Emergency professionals were not here on time and it was a significant problem,” he stated in reference to the emergency responders, “but people with automobiles started bringing those injured to the hospital before an ambulance got at the incident.”
Augustin Arisa, the Railway District Manager for the Lagos District, commented on the incident: “Around 7:20 a.m., our driver gave us a distress call saying there was an accident at Shogunle’s level crossing. The bus driver swerved away from where other vehicles were waiting for the train to cross and entered the track. The vehicle was forced to come to a stop after the railway carried it for roughly 100 meters before stopping.
“I’d want to take this opportunity to advise people not to linger on the track; doing so makes you an intruder. Any deaths on the track will result in payment to the railway.
In company with the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2 Command, Abiodun Alabi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, claimed that the police officers on the scene were able to control the crowd to ensure the vehicle’s removal went smoothly: “We have a protocol in place for handling incidents like this, and it was put into action. We also made sure that the emotional and crowd control aspects were handled correctly to make room for the emergency response team.”
The atmosphere was solemn when The Guardian visited the Accident Unit of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). Residents and families of the victims flocked to the facility to see the scene, and hospital officials struggled to keep people from approaching the victims.
According to Mr. Layeni Lateef, one of the victim’s brothers, the news of his younger brother’s plight shocked him as he was unable to imagine how a train on its track could collide with a staff vehicle.
He urged commercial drivers to drive defensively and in accordance with the law.
Rotimi Ogundeji, a friend of another victim, claimed that he received a call informing him that his friend Taiwo Lawal had been hurt in an accident while he was at work. He hurried to the teaching hospital where his companion was lying in critical condition after being shocked.
Prof. Adetokunbo Banwo, the hospital’s chief medical officer, was unable to speak with The Guardian because there will be a briefing today.
Several of the casualties, according to hospital staff, were in critical condition.