JUST IN: Tinubu and Atiku sympathises with victims of Lagos train crash as death toll rises to six

The President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar have sympathised with victims of the accident involving a train and Lagos State staff bus.

Recall that the accident occurred on Thursday morning in the PWD area of Ikeja, in Lagos State.

The accident which involved a moving train operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation, (NRC) rammed into a Lagos State Government staff bus at Shogunle and Ikeja, axis of the state, killing at least six persons, while 80 sustained various degrees of injuries.

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A statement by Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, read, “I offer my sincere condolences to the victims and families affected by the gory incident involving a train and a bus in the Ikeja area of Lagos State earlier today.

“I am praying for all, including those who died and those who sustained injuries in the tragic and unfortunate incident.

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“My thoughts are with them and with the Lagos State Government, even as I continue to follow the emergency response efforts closely and offer support, where necessary, to ensure that survivors and others involved receive the best care.”

Similarly, Atiku reacting in a statement sympathised with the Lagos state government, friends and families of the victims of the accident as well as residents of Lagos over the mishap.

He said it was sad news for Nigerians, thus calling for a probe into the matter.

Atiku wrote, “The unfortunate crash of a train and a BRT bus in Lagos this morning is sad news not only to Lagosians but to all of us Nigerians, as is any mishap anywhere. 

“My condolences to the families and friends of the victims and the good people and government of Lagos.

“The powers of states as federating units in Nigeria in the area of transportation must be reinforced with enabling laws and enhanced by the states themselves with knowledge and the requisite expertise in the same sector.

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“Emergency and medical rescue services must also be enhanced to avoid casualties in accidents such as this.

“I urge the relevant authorities to swiftly investigate the cause of the accident and take appropriate measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“May the souls of the departed rest in peace, and may God grant their families the fortitude to bear the loss.”

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu, in a swift response, expressed deep shock and sorrow over the unfortunate incident.

Sanwo-Olu, later, declared a three-day mourning and directed flags to fly at half-mast and civil servants to work half day tomorrow (Friday).

Speaking at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, when he visited to assess the situation and commiserated with victims, also cancelled all public engagements and campaigns.

Sanwo-Olu said: ” According to Sanwo-Olu; “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 in to the police, 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 and transferred to the Gbagada General Hospital, Agege General Hospital and the trauma centre at the toll gate so this place can be decongested and proper profiling of injuries can be done.

“There will be a half a day of work tomorrow (today) so we can jointly mourn our staff, and 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 the ground and we will share more information shortly,” he said.

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