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Four die as train crushes tricycle in Lagos

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It was a tragic sight yesterday when a train killed four persons after a tricycle veered into its track in Ogun State. The incident, which occurred at about 6:45a.m. took place at Toyin, a suburb between Agbado Crossing and Iju Ishaga Station. The victims killed by the Ogun-bound passenger train were commuters in the tricycle.

Speaking with The Guardian, the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Kehinde Adebayo, said they received a distress call via the emergency toll free number 112/767 regarding an accident at the Iju area, Shina Peters Road, Iju Ishaga at 6:52a.m.

“We swung into action immediately and mobilised other stakeholders to the scene of the incident accordingly. Our preliminary investigations revealed that a tricycle with five people on board had a head-on collision with a moving train at the aforementioned address. Further information gathered at the scene revealed that the immediate cause of the incident was due to reckless driving on the part of the tricycle driver trying to cross the rail crossing. Unfortunately four persons (three adult males and one adult female) lost their lives while the last passenger, an adult male escaped with some minor injuries.”

According to eyewitnesses, the train had left the station at Oke Aro and was heading to Itoki in Ogun State when the tragedy occurred. As the train approached, motorists and pedestrians alike stopped to give it the right of way. However, the tricyclist who tried to make a last-minute dash across the tracks was crushed alongside his passengers. Shortly after the train passed, the mangled remains of the occupants and the carcass of the tricycle were splattered on the tracks.

“It happened in the early hours of the day as workers and traders were rushing to board vehicles to their various offices and destinations. The tricycle and others were trying to cross the tracks but got trapped in rush-hour traffic along the Iju rail line as a moving train was fast approaching. The train smashed the rear side of the tricycle. The accident also caused the train to skid off the track. It was a ghastly accident, which should have been avoided if the tricyclist was careful. The train was on its track, but the huge traffic made the tricyclist to get trapped.”

A tricycle rider, Johnson Babatunde, wants the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to do the needful and put a barrier that would bar people from crossing while a train is about to pass. He said that was the usual practice, but these days a train will be passing without people knowing about its presence.

The Lagos District Superintendent, Christian Madza, confirmed the incident. He noted that the tricycle was trying to outsmart the moving train when it was crushed at the level crossing.

“That is what we have been repeating every time, don’t play too smart on rail line because the train has its right of way. The tricyclist was just trying to outsmart the train after the railway official has flagged them to stop for the oncoming train; it is so pathetic.”

The district superintendent urged motorists to always obey signs and signals at various level crossings to avoid such accident in the future.

General Manager, LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu, expressed sorrow at the sad incidence and pleaded with motorists, especially tricycle operators to always exercise patience, avoid over-speeding and be vigilant when crossing railway lines to avoid unnecessary loss of lives. “Tricycle (keke) operators are usually impatient and fond of squeezing into any available space, failing to observe basic traffic rules and regulations.”

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