Babjide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State, has proclaimed a three-day period of mourning in memory of those who perished in the BRT rail disaster on Thursday morning.
Also, Sanwo-Olu ordered Friday half-day work for government employees and half-mast flying for flags.
Recall that a BRT staff bus carrying employees of the Lagos State government to the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, was engaged in a fatal collision with a train at the PWD Bus Stop early on Thursday morning.
The unfortunate bus, with the Lagos licence plate 04A-48LA, number 33, was travelling from Isolo to Alausa in Ikeja when it struck an approaching train at the PWD rail crossing at Shogunle. The majority of the passengers were civil officials, along with some dependents.
Two people passed away immediately, and four more passed away in the hospital. There were eight minor injuries, 29 serious injuries, and 42 moderate injuries. 25 people have received treatment and were sent to the trauma centre at the toll gate, Agege Medical Hospital, and Gbagada General Hospital.
He also cancelled all public appearances and campaigns while he was in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, to assess the situation and express sympathy to the victims.
Sanwo-Olu said: “I am deeply saddened by the news of the accident. The vehicle was conveying staff of the Lagos State Government, our staff who serve the state in different capacities.
“Let’s say a prayer for the families and a prayer of mercy and protection for our state.
“My thoughts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time.”
“This is a very sober time for us as a government, and while we acknowledge God as the giver of life, the one who determines every man’s destiny, it saddens us when we have incidents like this.
“The fatal accident happened at the rail crossing around PWD in the Shogunle area. I believe they were coming from the express and needed a right turn, and wanted to drag over the rail.
“It is not yet clear what happened, but it seems like a wrong judgement by the driver. I also learnt he has turned himself to the police, and so investigations will determine what actually went wrong. We would also reach out to the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to give their own account of what transpired so we can have full information.
“We haven’t informed any family members yet because these are civil servants that were going to work so we cannot begin to disclose names until when families have been contacted.
“Of the number of injured persons, 25 were treated very quickly an transferred to the Gbagada General Hospital, Agege General Hospital and the trauma centre at toll gate so this place can be decongested and proper profiling of injuries can be done.
“There will be half day of work tomorrow (today) so we can jointly mourn our staff, our loved ones, and the dead can be buried. Flags will also fly at half mast for the next three days, and we are also declaring a three-day state mourning for the deceased.”
Sanwo-Olu, commended residents who assisted the first responders in the search and rescue operation, saying the true spirit of Lagos must be sustained at all times.
He commended the first responders, LASUTH and LASUCOM staff and security agencies for their prompt response.
“A big thank you to well meaning Lagosians who immediately joined in rescue efforts. Our first responders and emergency services are on ground and we will share more information shortly,” he said.
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