Over nine hundred passengers escaped death yesterday morning when a 10-coach Iddo bound train rammed into a trailer truck at Ilupeju Railway crossing near Oshodi, Lagos.
Also two Toyota Hiace buses travelling in opposite directions along Potiskum-Kano road in the state, had a head-on collision and thereafter went off in flames. 29 persons died,11 of them burnt beyond recognition.
The accident which occurred at about 7:30 a.m. led to traffic gridlock along the Ilupeju/Oshodi road for several hours.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that each of the coaches has 90 seats, but they were usually overloaded.
An eye witness said that the articulated 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.
On seeing the approaching train, the driver jumped out of the trailer and ran away. The train then dragged the truck for some distance, scattering the goods inside it — which were mostly empty cartons of Malta Guinness drink along the track.
The dragging of the truck also led to the damaging of some vehicles parked along the rail track by motor mechanics.
We gathered that the accident caused some damage to the engine of the locomotive and the track.
Confirming the accident, Mr Ademuyiwa Adekanbi, the Lagos District Public Relations Officer of the Railways, said that no life was lost in the incident.
Adekanbi said that the corporation has embarked on enough enlightenment campaigns on the use of the Railway Crossings.
“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.
The incident makes it the third time in August that passenger trains have rammed into vehicles at railway crossings in the Lagos metropolis.