Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has visited the site of the Monday fatal accident involving a commuter train and two vehicles.
Two persons reportedly died in the accident, which occurred along the driveways into the Nigerian Army Shopping Arena in Oshodi.
The victims, a father and son, were said to be driving into the shopping arena when they were caught up by the speeding train. Their Highlander Jeep with Registration Number: FST 723 FL got stuck on the rail track.
All the six persons in the other vehicle, a passenger bus with Registration Number: GGE 972 GE, escaped with different degrees of injuries after the train dragged the commercial bus 800 metres away from the point of collision.
Sanwo-Olu and Amaechi, who carried out an on-the-spot assessment of the site, sympathised with the families of the victims and expressed regrets over the accident.
The governor said the incident happened on the day the state government and the Federal Government reached an agreement to close down the shopping complex’s gates at the railway line because of safety concern.
“This incident is regrettable because it happened on the day all stakeholders reached a consensus to close down the gates into the shopping arena. And this is part of the concerns we have been raising about commuters’ safety on this axis. We need to act fast. This fatal accident should strengthen our resolve to do the needful and prevent a repeat of the sad incident in the future.
“It is also a clarion call on our people to be safety conscious whenever they need to drive across rail track. If there is slow movement of vehicles at any railway bypass, then there is need to keep a safe distance from the rail tracks.
“We have been rolling out advocacy on this and we will intensify efforts on it. Safety of the people is paramount and we will do all required to ensure we put a stop to this kind of accident,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He revealed that Lagos State Government and the Federal Government were considering to create alternative entry and exit driveways for the shopping arena and other vulnerable points along the railway corridor.
This effort, the governor believed, would strengthen safety of commuters and motorists along rail corridors.
Prior to the visit by the governor and the minister, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) had evacuated the mangled vehicles from the rail track.
Those injured had been treated and discharged by medical personnel deployed to the site of the accident.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Police Command has decided to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The command, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said: “The matter has been referred to the Railway Police Command for further investigation and necessary action.”