Four children aged between eight and 10, two women and three men on board an 18-seater commercial bus lost their lives on Friday after the bus crashed into a truck in the Fadeyi area of Lagos State.
Four-year-old twin brothers escaped with minor bruises while 14 others, including the driver of the overloaded Toyota Hiace with number plate Katsina KT 715YG, sustained varying degrees of injuries.
They were said to have been admitted to the Lagos State Accident and Emergency Centre at the Tollgate area while the remains of the deceased were deposited at the Lagos Mainland General Hospital morgue.
The identities of the victims had yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report
It was however, learnt that most of the victims were northerners and the speeding bus was en route from the North to Ijora when it lost control at Fadeyi bus stop.
It was said to have skidded, hit the median, and swerved into the other lane, before crashing into the truck loaded with frozen foods, en route from Yaba.
An official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, who witnessed the incident, said it occured around 5.30am, adding that six persons died on the spot.
He said, “There were 24 passengers inside the bus. Two women and four children between ages 8 and 10 died instantly. Three others died on the way to the hospital. Fortunately, twin brothers of about four-year-old escaped with some minor bruises.”
Another emergency official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, blamed fatigue for the accident.
“It was possible the driver was sleepy and was tired coupled with the high speed at which he drove. From the information I got, they were coming from Jigawa and their final destination was Ijora,” the official said.
One Olanrewaju Sanya said he was collecting money from commercial drivers plying the road when the bus suddenly strayed into the median.
He said, “The next thing I heard was a bang. I ran to the scene and found out that it had collided with a truck. If the truck was speeding, the bus would have been completely written off. It was only the windscreen of the truck that got smashed. I learnt the bus was going to Ijora. It was overloaded. It amazes me that a set of twins escaped; God is great.”
Apart from LASTMA, Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos State Emergency Agency, Nigeria Police Force and Lagos State Ambulance Service were on the ground to clear the wreckage and ease the traffic caused by the accident.
The Sector Commander, FRSC, Lagos State Command, Hyginus Omeje, said, “Twenty-five persons were involved in the crash. 16 injured and nine fatalities were recorded. Motorists need to be safety conscious and check their vehicles on daily basis to ensure that they are in good condition.”
The LASEMA General Manager, Mr. Michael Akindele, said personnel were mobilised to the scene after a distress call was received 15 minutes after the accident.
He said, “The agency received an emergency alert of an accident involving two vehicles at Fadeyi bus stop around 5.45 am. This prompted immediate activation of the Emergency Response Team. Investigation carried out by the ERT at the scene of the incident revealed that the Toyota Hiace commercial bus with number plate Katsina KT 715YG lost control due to speeding, hit the median and ran across the road into an oncoming articulated truck with registration number Lagos GGE 715 YG from the opposite direction.
“Nine persons – five adults (four males and a female) and four children (two males, two females) – lost their lives in the accident while 10 others sustained injuries and were taken to the emergency trauma centre at Tollgate.”
LASTMA spokesperson, Mr. Mahmud Hassan, urged drivers to be cautious and comply with road traffic regulations to prevent accidents, leading to loss of lives.
“Speeding and overloading of luggage and passengers should also be avoided to prevent this kind of carnage on our roads,” he added.