900 passengers escape death in Lagos train accident

The accident, a third this month, brought destruction in its wake but bore no fatality.

No fewer than 900 train commuters escaped death Friday morning in Lagos when the 10-coach train they were travelling in ran into a trailer truck at Ilupeju Railway Crossing, in mainland Lagos.

The accident, which claimed no lives, occurred at about 7:30 a.m. causing a huge traffic gridlock along the Ilupeju/Oshodi road for several hours.

It was the third time in the month of August that passenger trains would ram into vehicles at railway crossings in Lagos Metropolis.

Confirming the accident, Ademuyiwa Adekanbi, the Lagos District Public Relations Officer of the Railways, regretted that efforts by the railway authorities to enlighten the public through campaigns on the use of the Railway Crossings appear to be falling on deaf ears.

“We have done enough jingles on radio and television, we have rallies and distributed fliers to sensitise people of the right of way of a train at level crossings,” he said.

A witness said that the vehicle blocked the railway crossing when the train was already close by. The loaded trailer had crashed into the double barriers on the railway crossing shortly before the train arrived.

The trailer driver reportedly jumped out of the vehicle as the Iddo-bound train headed to ploy his truck. The train then dragged it for some distance, scattering it cargo–mostly empty cartons of Malta Guinness drink– along the track, as badly shaken passengers scurried for dear lives.

The drag caused damages to some vehicles parked along the rail track by mechanics. The engine of the locomotive and the track were also damaged.

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