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Concerns over frequent train accidents in the city



The accident scene

THE rising cases of accidents involving trains in Lagos metropolis have become a source of concern to residents, who feel that the rail system should serve as an alternative means of transportation instead of being a death trap.

With a population of over 21 million, commuting in the city has been a big issue for government and residents, which led to the establishment of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and later strengthened in 2007 to plan and regulate the various modes of transportation in the state.

Under the amended LAMATA Act 2007, the Authority is empowered by law with responsibilities of making public transportation, affordable, rapid, efficient, effective and accessible to all and sundry in metropolitan Lagos.

The rehabilitation of the rail system by the last administration, an Ijaiye resident, Kunle Ajakaiye, said was a seen as a relief to both the transportation challenge and traffic gridlock in the metropolis.

According to him frequent accidents being recorded in recent times seemed to have rubbished the gains recorded so far. Ajakaiye’s apprehension stemmed from Tuesday’s incident at Ikeja Along, when a coach severed from the body of a moving train, forcing the train to reverse to hook up with its severed part.

Although no casualty was recorded in the incident, an eyewitness, Emmanuel Uche, however, said it sent shivers down the spines of commuters around the scene.

Narrating the incident to The Guardian, Uche who said the incident occurred around 7.20 a.m, urged the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, to investigate the matter with a view to stopping a reoccurrence.

Uche, who sells computer spare-parts at the Computer Village in Ikeja, was however thankful to God that no life was lost. But that was not the case on Sunday, August 16, 2015, when two trains collided in the Agege area of Lagos State, leaving two people dead and one seriously injured.

The two dead passengers, sources said, were hanging illegally by the moving train’s rooftop when the sad incident occurred. That accident made it the second in barely two weeks after a train was reported to have collided with a trailer.

While the injured passenger is at present receiving treatment in the hospital, Mr. Akin Osinowo, Lagos Railway District Manager (RDM) has called on the families of the deceased passengers to come and collect the corpses at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute-Metta.

Although, a panel of inquiry was said to have been set up by the Managing Director of the NRC, Mr. Sijuwade, to determine the cause of the unfortunate incident between the two trains, an Ikeja-based lawyer, Adewale Ojo, however, wants the corporation to do more to stem the tide of train accidents in the state.

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