One Train Accident Too Many

Notes for File

As of the time of writing this report, six persons had been confirmed dead from the accident involving a train and a Lagos State Government staff bus, which was conveying workers to their offices. 

The accident took place last Thursday between Shogunle and Ikeja axis when the staff bus veered into the rail track and was crushed by an oncoming train. Many passengers were injured in the accident and some were taken to the trauma centre of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

Speaking with journalists at LASUTH, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said apart from the two victims who died on the spot, four others were confirmed dead at the hospital.

 Witnesses at the scene said the bus was attempting to cross the rail track when the oncoming train rammed into it. The train reportedly dragged the bus from Shogunle to the PWD area of Ikeja.

As soon as the accident happened, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, blamed it on the driver of the bus.

On his part, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo has directed an immediate and full investigation into the unfortunate.

A statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Henshaw Ogubike, noted that the minister sympathised with the victims of the unfortunate incident and prayed for the repose of the souls of those that died and quick recovery for the ones injured.

For many Nigerians, this is one train accident too many. Any time there is train accident, it is either condolences or passing the blame. That is where it ends until another accident happens.

Each time it happens, no lesson is learnt to forestall a future occurrence. Nobody is prosecuted for negligence and nobody is ever sacked. Even the NRC would not swiftly move to put traffic officials to man busy crossing points to address the situation. Life moves on as if nothing happened.

 In Nigeria, there are a plethora of laws under which negligent government officials are supposed to be prosecuted. Even the so-called investigation mentioned by the Transportation Minister, Sambo was a mere semantics. Nothing came out from previous investigations.

In developed countries, issues like this is not usually swept under the carpet. While investigations are conducted, culprits are prosecuted as a deterrence. This is usually not the case in Nigeria.

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