A crash between a trailer and train occurred on Monday night in Agege, Lagos, resulting in the death of two persons who were hanging on the train and a protracted gridlock that kept commuters stranded for hours.
The crash, which occurred at 8.45 pm, was blamed on the absence of a signal officer on duty to close the barrier for the rail tracks.
An eyewitness said that the accident caused confusion among traders, passers-by and motorists around the rail tracks, and forced them to scamper for safety after the train collided with the trailer.
The commuter who preferred not to give his name said two persons, who were hanging on to the train, fell off and died on the spot due to the sudden impact. He gave the registration number of the trailer as YOBE PKM180XA.
The accident led to a major traffic snarl in Agege and its environs as motorists spent over four hours navigating through the area. Motorists who got wind of the accident by listening to the Lagos State Traffic Radio took alternative routes to avoid the gridlock.
It took some hours before rescue and security operatives from the police, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) could remove the train and the trailer from the road allowing other motorists to go through the chaos.
Yesterday morning, a crowd of passers-by and Agege residents were seen in the area discussing the accident while the trailer was impounded and parked in front of the railway police station.
LASEMA’s General Manager, Hon. Michael Akindele yesterday told journalists that two persons hanging on the train lost their lives when they fell off as a result of the collision.
However, the general manager did not provide detailed identities of the victims beside their names and sex.
The general manager gave the identities of two victims of the crash as Mr. Saka Nagim and Mr. Segun Adebambo. He also cautioned commuters against hanging on to moving vehicles or trains.
He explained that the train was coming from Ikeja while the trailer coming from Okekoto, driving towards Pen Cinema and wanted to cross
the rail track before the train crashed into it.
According to Akindele, had the driver of the trailer been a bit more patient, he could have saved the lives of the victims.
He said the crash was avoidable and warned train commuters to desist from hanging on to train. “All drivers and riders should give right of way whenever a train is about to pass,” he said.
Another eyewitnesses also revealed that the driver of the trailer absconded when the accident occurred, but the conductor was arrested and detained at the railway police station at Agege.