BRT driver ignored our warnings –Lagos train crash survivors recount

BRT driver ignored our warnings –Lagos train crash survivors recount

Promise Eze

Some of the survivors of the train accident that occurred at the PWD area of Lagos State have recounted the ugly incidence they were forced to go through when the BRT driver ignored their warnings to wait for the train to pass.

Recall that six people were on Thursday confirmed dead while an unspecified number of people were injured after a passenger train crushed a Lagos State Government staff bus on its way from Ikotun en route Alausa, the state secretariat.

According to The Nation, the survivors said the driver ignored their caution when they told him not to cross the rail line.

The victims, who suffered various degrees of injuries, spoke at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja where they were receiving treatment.

Kazeem Abiola, who had a cast around his neck, he and a few others saw the train coming while they were still on the Agege Motor Road.

Abiola said the driver thought he could drive past before the rail got to the interchange.

“We warned him to allow the train to leave before crossing but he was adamant. Everybody was shouting, cautioning him but he moved. Half of the body of the bus had crossed the rail track before the train hit us. I knew nothing again until I found myself here (LASUTH Emergency Unit),” he said.

Anuoluwapo Musa, a staff of the Lagos State Emergency Maintenance Agency (LASEMA) told The Nation that the bus coming from Ikotun picked him at Jakande.

Musa said he jumped down from the bus immediately and before it was hit by the train.

The LASEMA official, who injured his left arm, said: “I was at the back when the incident occurred. I just heard noise from the front rolls cautioning the driver. Not quite long, we were hit by the train. I was conscious enough to jump out of the bus while the train was still dragging our bus,” he said.

Another victim said she also jumped out of the bus but landed inside a ditch. She suffered an arm injury.

However, speaking with FIJ, a survivor recalled that the train gave no signal. Lasisi Oluwatomi, who sat beside the driver of the BRT bus involved before the collision, said the train seemed to have appeared out of nowhere as the driver did not honk the horn to signal its coming.

“The accident happened between 7.00 am and 7.14 am. The train was racing with speed while our bus was at the middle, trying to cross to the other side. Before we knew what was happening, the train had lifted our bus and dragged it along the rail until it stopped,” said Oluwatomi.

It was gathered that some of those stabilised at the LASUTH were transferred to five general hospitals including General Hospital, Lagos Island, Gbagada General Hospital and Orile-Agege.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Minister for Transportation Mu’azu Jaji Sambo expressed deep shock and sorrow over the accident.

Sanwo-Olu described the accident as “totally avoidable.

He said the driver only needed to exercise a little patience and follow proper transportation protocol, which requires a driver to wait at a level crossing.

Sanwo-Olu declared three days of mourning and suspended his political campaigns in honour of the victims.

He also directed flags to be flown at half-mast throughout the period.


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