By Gbenga Oloniniran
The driver of the Lagos State Government staff bus that was involved in the incident that led to a train colliding with the bus at the PWD/ Shogunle railway line, on the Agege motor road in Lagos, on Thursday, has appealed to victims of the accident to forgive him.
The PUNCH reports that some survivors said the 44-year-old driver, Oluwaseun Osinbajo, had his earpiece on while driving and ignored the directive of the Flag Officers at the rail line.
The driver, however, blamed the incident on a mechanical fault in the bus.
The driver, who works with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport, was also said to have been transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department.
He was said to be overheard narrating to some of his relatives who were waiting for him there.
“It was not my fault. How could I have ignored warning signs? The bus had a mechanical fault,” The Vanguard newspaper quoted him as saying.
“It is a pity this has happened. I beg everyone affected to please forgive me in the name of God.”
The PUNCH reports that streaks of dried blood, broken glass, and wrung metal plates lined the rail tracks right opposite the PWD Bus Station, Shogunle, Ikeja.
Trapped in the squashed vehicle were sweaty faces, tired breaths, and bloodied bodies, struggling to find their way out to the rays of the morning light above.
Earlier, residents watched in shock how an oncoming train collided with a staff bus, filled with passengers en route to the Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, from Ikotun, pushing them metres away before coming to a halt.
Saturday PUNCH also gathered that the driver of the BRT had veered into the rail track despite signs from the level crossing flag bearers and other motorists urging him not to do so as a train was oncoming.
Emergency responders had conveyed many of the casualties to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja GRA.
About 79 of 85 passengers on the bus were revived and treated for different injuries and subsequently transferred to Gbagada General Hospital, Agege General Hospital, and the trauma centre at the toll gate area of the state.
Speaking to journalists shortly after visiting the injured at LASUTH, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed that 85 people were involved in the accident out of which 42 had moderate injuries, 29 had serious injuries, and eight with mild injuries. (Punch)