Train Accident: Why crashed bus was overloaded, says Lagos

The Lagos State Government has talked about the bus that collided with a train recently.

The state government on Friday explained why the ill-fated staff bus, which collided with a train at the Shogunle axis of the state leading to the death of six persons, was overloaded.

It said the bus had to take more than its capacity because the cash crisis forced many workers to opt for the free bus.

Tragedy struck around 8am on Thursday when the driver of the staff bus ignored signals from the officials of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and drove into the rail track when a train was fast approaching. The bus driver overtook vehicles waiting for the train to pass and was hit by the passenger train before it could cross the track.

No fewer than six persons were killed while scores had varying degrees of injuries.

Saturday PUNCH gathered that the staff bus had a sitting capacity of about 85, but according to the statement issued by the Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hopsital on Thursday, 102 victims were brought to the hospital for treatment.

The state Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, while fielding questions from journalists at the hospital on Friday, said the scarcity of the new naira made more people opt for the free transportation provided by the state government.

Muri-Okunola said, “About the capacity of the bus, its capacity is 85. I think the bus was filled to capacity because quite a number of people, due to the cash crunch situation, opted to go with the bus which was free of charge as opposed to commercial transportation. So, yes indeed the bus was moving at full capacity.”

The Head of Service said the fact that the train dragged the bus for about 10 metres probably led to an increase in the number of casualties.

He added, “For the 102 injured persons associated with that accident, we believe that most of them would have been inside the bus. But because the bus was dragged for a long period, covering a distance of almost 100 metres, we are also aware that there were persons that were injured outside the bus.

“That is probably responsible for the higher number of persons that came for those brought to LASUTH for treatment. It is a bit too early to really get the full details from most of the passengers because a lot of them are in pain or have moderate to severe injuries.

“This is not the time for us to overstress them, but as they get better, we will, of course, get more information from them.”

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