‘Unenforced law responsible for Ojuelegba trailer accident’

By Bertram Nwannekanma   |   03 September 2015   |   10:51 pm  

 The container being carried away....yesterday

The container being carried away….yesterday<br />

Failure to enforce the law that the former Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, signed in August 2012, restricting the movement of trailers on Lagos road between the hours of 6am and 9pm, led to the trailer that fell off Oguelegba Bridge in Lagos, which caused the sudden death of three persons on Wednesday, when a container laden with building materials fell off a truck on top of Ojuelegba bridge and smashed two vehicles under the overhead bridge.
The container fell on one car and some debris partially fell on the second, which were moving under the bridge.

The traffic law, Fashola had said, at a well-attended signing ceremony in 2012, was a holistic review of the state’s Traffic Law of 2003, adding that it was designed to ensure safety on the roads.

He declared: “This new law is also the state government`s intervention to the alarming statistics of road accidents.

“The real objective of the new law was to improve the traffic situation in Lagos and not to arbitrarily send people to jail. He enjoined road users to voluntary comply with the law.
The governor vowed that government would strictly implement the law, assuring that offenders would be given fair hearing and would be accorded the right to defend themselves during prosecution.

Speaking at the Ojuelegbe accident yesterday, the General manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Michael Kolawole Akindele, said the accident, which occurred at about 4.30pm recorded three adult male casualties.

Akindele, who led a multi- agency rescue operation made up of the police and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and LASEMA to evacuate the wreckages of the truck with registration No. Epe 426 XR and the affected vehicles, told The Guardian that the bodies of the dead victims were recovered from the scene around 7pm and have been deposited at the Lagos State Mainland Hospital morgue.

According to him, contrary to rumours, only three male bodies, mangled under one of the two Toyota Corrolla cars, were recovered from the scene, while an occupant of the other car escaped unhurt.
The affected two vehicles, he said, were Toyota Corolla cars trapped under the container near the traffic light.
He said: “At about 4.55pm on Wednesday, we received a distress call that a container has skidded off the road and fell off the Ojuelegba bridge crushing two cars.

“We quickly mobilised to the scene and started rescue operations. The operation took some hours, one of the affected vehicles, which was mangled, was removed with a help of a forklift. We removed the container and later discover three male adults. The bodies were promptly taken to the Lagos Mainland Hospital morgue and there was no other casualty.

“Preliminary investigations showed that the truck, which was carrying container laden with security doors, was over loaded and not well maintained.

“We have successfully removed the wreckages and have taken them to government task force yard for further investigations.”
An eyewitness, Chigozie Ani, who trades on stationeries near the scene, said the accident happened around 4. 25pm close the traffic light.

The truck, he said, was coming from the stadium side, when the accident occurred.
According to him, but for divine providence, the situation could have been worse, considering the human traffic that is always at Ojuelegba under bridge.
While commiserating with the families of the deceased, Ani thanked God that the number of casualties was minimal.

“There are rumours that there were many more deaths, but I only saw the three bodies, which were recovered by the LASEMA team that arrived some minutes after the incident,” he said.

Sources close to the Police said investigation has started on the matter to identify the driver of the truck.
The road has also been cleared for vehicular use, when The Guardian left the scene.



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