By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday visited the scene of the fatal accident involving a commuter train and two vehicles.
Two persons reportedly died in the Monday accident, which occurred along the driveway into the Nigerian Army Shopping Arena in Oshodi.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, was in company with the governor during the on-the-spot assessment of the scene.
The accident 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 got stuck on the rail track.
All the six persons in the other vehicle – a passenger bus – escaped with different degrees of injuries after the train dragged the commercial bus 800 meters away from the point of collision.
Sanwo-Olu sympathised with the families of the victims, describing the accident as regrettable.
He said that the accident 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 concerns.
”This incident is regrettable because it happened on the day all stakeholders reached a consensus to close down the gates into the shopping arena.
”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,” the governor said.
He said that the government had been rolling out advocacy on this and would intensify efforts on it.
“Safety of the people is paramount and we will do all that is required to ensure we put a stop to this kind of accident,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that the state government and the federal government were on the move to create alternative entry and exit driveways for the shopping arena and other vulnerable points along the railway corridor.
The governor said that such effort would strengthen safety of commuters and motorists along rail corridors.
Prior to the visit by the governor and the minister, the 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 scene of the accident. (NAN)