Friday, March 10, 2023 11:00 am
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) have said the driver of a Lagos State Government staff bus with registration no 04A- 48LA casued the train mishap at PWD level crossing on Oshodi Abeokuta expressway on Thursday. Six people died while 96 others were injured.
The bus which was coming from was trying to enter Ikeja GRA through the level crossing in order to connect the state secretariat, Alausa. when it collided with the train at the PWD rail crossing. It was at this point that a train which was heading to Ido from Ijoko, Ogun State, appraoched. Despite warnings by NRC officials, the driver though he could move out of the way before the train got to it. Alas! It was too late as the train dragged the bus on its rail for about 100 metres from PWD to Sogunle before getting stuck.
According to Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the Permanent Secretary of LASEMA, the bus driver “ignored signals from the NRC officials as he was in a hurry to cross the rail.”
In a statement, Yakub Mahmood, the NRC Deputy Director Public Relations, said the bus “failed to obey the instruction of the corporation officials as he overtook other vehicles waiting for the train to pass.”
The Chief Mechanical Engineer and Lagos District Manager, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Augustine Arisa, confirmed to The PUNCH that the train pushed the bus for about 100 metres before stopping. This, according to him, is because of the high speed of the train.
He noted that at 7.50 am, he received a distress call from one of the drivers of the NRC, alerting him of a train-bus accident at the Shogunle Level Crossing.
Arisa said, “At 7.50 am, we got a distress call from our driver that there has been an accident at the Shogunle Level Crossing.
“On further interaction, we found out that the level-crossing keeper was there. The LCK is the man with the red and yellow flags at all times at the level crossing.
“If he gives you the red flag, you are to stop. If he gives you the yellow flag, you are to move with caution. If he gives the yellow flag to the train driver, that means he has asked the train driver to start coming.
“With that, the train driver has the confidence that the rail is clear for him to drive through. This simply means all buses should wait and not move till the yellow flag is given to them. With that, the train driver has the confidence that the rail is clear for him to drive through.”
“Before the train driver could stop, he had already hit the vehicle and pushed it to a distance of about 100 metres before finally stopping. This is because the train cannot stop immediately,” he added.
He added, “I need to emphasise this and drum it to the ears of people that a moving train cannot stop immediately.
“So, no one has the right to stay on the track. You don’t have any business being on the track. For you being on the track, you are an intruder.
“If anyone dies on the track, your family members will have to pay a railway fine before retrieving your corpse, because no one is supposed to be there in the first place. When the flag bearers tell you to stop, please, stop.”
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