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*Calls for restriction of trucks to Ojuelegba under bridge passage
Udora Orizu in Abuja and Rebecca Ejifoma in Lagos
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has described as unfortunate and sad, the killing of eight persons by a container in the Ojuelegba area of Surulere, Lagos, yesterday.
Gbajabiamila said he received the news of the falling of the 20-feet container on a commercial minibus, popularly known as Korope, with indignation and was pained that innocent people lost their lives in such a manner.
While lauding the efforts of the officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), FRSC, Police and others in evacuating the victims and rescuing one person, Gbajabiamila called for immediate temporary installation of barriers as the case on Oba Akran – computer village, Ikeja to prevent trailers from using the bridge.
He sent his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the people of his constituency, Surulere, and the Lagos State Government.
“I was sad and shocked at the news of the killing of the eight innocent people by a container. I became more brokenhearted when I saw the gory images of the incident.
This is unfortunate and unacceptable. This is not the first time such incident is happening in Lagos. I, therefore, call for immediate temporary installation of barriers as the case on Oba Akran – computer village, Ikeja to prevent trailers from using the bridge and compelled to use the under bridge alternatively to avert future occurrences. It is unacceptable for people to die in such a way at same spot multiple times.
“Such an unfortunate incident was one of the reasons why i sponsored the Federal Highway (Amendment) Bill which amongst other things provided for latching of containers and access to container trucks on overhead bridges at only restricted hours, and stiffer penalties for those that kill innocent Nigerians on the road.”
According to the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, investigation revealed that the bus was picking up passengers when the truck lost control and fell over the side of the bridge.
“After suspending the container load with the aid of the agency’s forklift and cutting off the top of the bus with light rescue equipment, a single adult woman was extricated alive and taken to the trauma centre,” he added.
Police officers alongside road users gathered at the scene to salvage the situation.
The agency’s heavy-duty Goliath, ambulance and teams from Onipanu and Cappa were also on ground alongside, the Lagos state fire service, Federal Fire service, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Nigeria police to assist.