Pandemonium as Plywoods Fall off Ojuelegba Bridge, Crush Motorists, Pedestrians


Chiemelie Ezeobi
For the umpteenth time, a containerised truck yesterday unleashed chaos at the Ojuelegba area of Lagos after the plywood it was conveying fell off the bridge, crushing some motorists and pedestrians who were passing under the bridge.

The incident, which happened at about 8.30pm, saw the truck veer off its track before attempting to plunge down the bridge like a pack of badly stacked cards.
Although the concrete rails held the body of the truck, the plywood it was carrying fell off from that height and crushed some cars and pedestrians.

At the scene of the incident, it was pure bedlam as some people tried to scamper for safety, while some others at the same time, attempted to rescue those trapped.

According to reports, the driver was trying to navigate the bend on the bridge when its gravity first pulled the body of the truck down and its head attempted to follow but was hinged by the concrete.
When the plywood landed, it fell on some cars, including three commercial buses, a black Toyota saloon car and some pedestrians who were walking on the busy road.

THISDAY gathered that part of the problem was that some tanker drivers had already taken possession of one part of the road as their park, thus forcing other motorists to only one lane.
With this incident, it brings to a total of four, of such cases whereby tankers and trucks and their attachments have fallen off the Ojuelegba Bridge in two years.

As at press time, there was no concrete figure as to the number of rescued persons and the death rate, as different figures were bandied.
While some put the casualty rate at two, others said five, while eyewitness account, however claimed 15 bodies were brought out of the mangled commercial buses.

However, the emergency workers on the scene told THISDAY that at 10.30pm, they had brought out two dead persons from one of the mangled bus.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, however said no death was recorded, rather most of them were seriously injured and have been taken to the hospital for treatment.

He said, “The command rescue squad led by the Area C Commander, ACP Godwin Eze, are there rendering humanitarian aid and helping victims of the accident. They are also to ensure the security of lives of the emergency workers.
“Meanwhile, on his way to the search and rescue mission, he quickly branched at Randle General Hospital and picked some medics on duty before rushing to the scene.

“Also at the scene were the personnel Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS), whom they teamed up with to attend to the survivors before they were rushed to the hospital for proper treatment,” he added.
However, conspicuously absent were the personnel of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who are on a nationwide strike, while personnel of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) held sway under the leadership of their boss, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu.