One more person was recovered dead at the scene yesterday where a container truck fell on four vehicles at Ojuelegba on Tuesday night, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has said.
This recovery brought to three the number of persons killed in the accident that occurred at about 8:30 p.m.
A truck with unknown registration number laden with wooden sheets tilted while negotiating the curved part of the bridge, causing the container to fall on three commercial buses and a saloon car down the bridge, leaving many others injured.
According to LASEMA’s General Manager, Adesina Tiamiyu, the prompt response by emergency and security agents saved two trapped victims as they were extracted from the crushed vehicles.
He said: “Two trapped victims were extracted with the aid of the agency’s light rescue equipment and immediately taken to the hospital by the officials of the Lagos State Ambulance Service for further medical treatment but unfortunately three male adults were confirmed dead.
“The agency and other responders ensured that all the wooden sheets and accident vehicles were cleared off the road to avoid any secondary incident and a free flow of traffic around the axis. Proper investigation would be conducted on the incident.
“Heavy-duty drivers should ensure that their vehicles are in good conditions and that loaded goods are properly secured to the flatbed before embarking on any journey. Overloading of trucks should also be discouraged as it oftentimes lead to fatal accidents on the highway,” he said.
Yesterday, traders and transporters at the Ojuelegba park renewed their call on the Lagos State government to restrict the movement of trucks on the bridge to prevent a recurrence of the tripping trucks from the bridge.
According to an eyewitness, the truck was moving at high speed when the plywoods tilted off the truck and fell on a bus and a Camry car.
A bus driver known as Aro and a National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) official known as Ijebu have been identified as those who lost their lives, while the occupant of the Camry car escaped death by the whiskers.
A trader at the bus stop, Ganiyat Adekunle, said the driver of the bus was calling on passengers when the incident happened.
She noted that there were no passengers inside the bus.
“The people already inside alighted from the bus when it refused to get filled on time or leave the bus-stop, not knowing they were moving some steps away from an untimely death,” she said.
She said, “Ijebu was busy collecting money from the driver at the time the incident occurred.
Some passerby were also injured and were rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) immediately.”
A bus driver, Emehara Eze, who said he was in shock on how he was saved from the jaws of death, due to his refusal to hike the transport fare like his colleagues.
He said: “Others were asking passengers to pay N300 fare but I decided to reduce mine to N200 so I can leave on time.
“Aro who died was to load after me, I had not reached the next bus-stop when I heard what happened.”
Eze commended the swift response of LASEMA for preventing more casualties.
He said: “LASEMA tried their best last night, their response was fast and I must say I was impressed.
“One of my friend and colleague who was rescued is in LUTH receiving treatment and I hope he survives.”
A passerby, Mr. Akinwale Daso, who plies the route daily, urged the state government to ban truck from moving on the bridge but instead make use of the road underneath.
He said: “Lagos State should stop this deadly truck from moving on the bridge.
“These trucks have killed many previous years and if government doesn’t interfere, more of this might occur in future.”
At the scene on Tuesday night, it was pure bedlam as people tried to scamper to safety, while some others at the same time, attempted to rescue those trapped.
According to eyewitnesses, 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 followed.
Upon landing, it fell on some the car and three commercial buses and some pedestrians who were walking on the busy road.
It was 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 have fallen off the Ojuelegba Bridge in the last two years.