Heritage Reporter

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Newly rehabilitated 3rd Mainland Bridge records 1st tragedy on Eid-el-Fitri

…20-seater commercial bus passengers flung into Lagoon

 

The newly rehabilitated 3rd Mainland Bridge on Wednesday recorded its first tragedy when a fully loaded 20-seater commercial bus hit the railings, sending two passengers into the Lagoon.

 

This occurred on a day Nigeria’s Muslim faithful joined the rest of the world in celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Eid-el-Fitri.

According to an eyewitness, who identified himself as Akinola Adeniyi, the tragedy occurred at about 11.30 am.

He said the commercial bus en route to the Island from Iyana-Oworo suddenly hit the railings on the bridge.

Adeniyi attributed the cause of the accident to excessive speeding on the part of the driver of the ill-fated vehicle.

A rescue team, including men of the Lagos State Emergency Management LASEMA, and the Police, among others raced to the scene.

The incident led to traffic gridlock on the 3rd Mainland Bridge, inward the Island.

Director of Public Affairs of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Taofik Adebayo, confirmed the incident.

He said LASTMA personnel, in collaboration with other rescue teams, particularly the Marine Police, were carrying out the rescue mission.

According to Adebayo, 18 seriously injured passengers were immediately taken to hospital for treatment.

According to reports, he said, preliminary investigations revealed that a 20 fully loaded LT commercial bus, with registration FKJ 872 YA while on a high speed, lost control as a result of a brake failure.

The bus was about to fall inside the Lagoon before it was stopped by the railings of the 3rd Mainland Bridge.

Adebayo added that the truck driver ran away after the accident. He noted that policemen from Adeniji Adele Police Station provided security backup during the rescue of the 18 passengers by LASTMA officials.

One LASTMA Alpha, Zone 1 Lagos Island, Ojo-Oniyun Olamide, led the recovery operations. He confirmed that his team immediately evacuated the bus off the road for free vehicular movement inward Adeniji Adele area of Lagos Island.

“Meanwhile, the Marine rescue team is already inside the Lagoon on a search-and-rescue mission to see if any of those passengers that fell inside could be rescued.

However, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Olalekan Bakare-Oki warned the motoring public to stop over speeding.

He also urged them to ensure their vehicles are properly checked, including the braking system, before embarking on any journey within or outside the state.

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