• News - South West - Lagos
  • Updated: April 11, 2024

NEMA speaks on third mainland bridge crash, says hope dims

NEMA speaks on third mainland bridge crash, says hope dims

Ibrahim Farinloye, the coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), expressed a grim outlook on the chances of rescuing the two passengers who were thrown into the Lagos lagoon after a bus crash on Wednesday. 

Speaking at the scene of the accident in Lagos, Farinloye noted the severity of the incident. 

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) confirmed that the bus sustained serious damage.

The accident, which occurred earlier on Wednesday near the Adeniyi Adele axis inward Lagos Island on the Third Mainland Bridge, resulted in two adults being ejected from the 18-seater bus into the lagoon. 

Farinloye noted that the driver was traveling at a high speed when the vehicle veered off the road, colliding with the bridge railings and causing the passengers to be thrown into the water.

Marine Police personnel are currently conducting search and rescue operations for the missing male and female adults.

According to News Agency of Nigeria, Farinloye said personnel dispatched from the agency, joined by two team from the Nigerian Police Marine Corps, had been assisting in the rescue operations.

“However, by now, we are not looking at the search and rescue again, but recovery. This is because the male passenger was said to have floated about three times before he was finally drowned, while the woman did not even surface at all.

“Therefore, the possibility of any one of them surviving is slim,” he said.

According to him, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) had mobilised more local divers to join the recovery operations team.

Jonathan Owoade, zonal coordinator of the FRSC, also corroborated the explanation by the NEMA official.

Owoade said other victims on the bus had been rescued and taken to a nearby general hospital for treatment.

“We are on our way to the hospital to see their state of being and also commiserate with them,” he stated.

According to him, the accident seemed to have occurred because the driver had been speeding, given the impact.

The emergency response agencies, comprising marine police, LASEMA, FRSC, NEMA, and local divers, were seen on the ground at the accident scene.

The bus involved in the accident damaged part of the railings, and pieces of its shattered windshield littered the scene.

Meanwhile, LASTMA, in a statement, said the 18 other passengers rescued in the bus accident and taken to hospital were seriously injured.

He said LASTMA officer Olamide Ojo-Oniyun (One Alpha, Zone 1 Lagos Island), who led the recovery operations, confirmed that his team had evacuated the LT Commercial bus off the road so that vehicular movement could be unhindered in the Adeniji Adele area of Lagos Island.

The LASTMA general manager, Olalekan Bakare-Oki, cautioned motorists to obey speed limits and ensure their vehicles are properly checked before embarking on any journey within or outside the state.

The federal government reopened the third mainland bridge on April 4, setting the speed limit at 80km per hour, following extensive repairs over five months.

Wednesday’s accident occurred on a day Muslims were celebrating the Eid-el-Fitr.

It came days after the Lagos sector of the FRSC reiterated the call for safe driving on the newly reopened Third Mainland Bridge after an accident occurred on Thursday.

A collision involving three vehicles had occurred on the bridge on Thursday, the day it was fully reopened to traffic after months of partial closure.

The FRSC described the Thursday incident involving three vehicles

on the bridge’s Iyana Oworo axis as an avoidable crash and blamed negligence.

The sector commander, Babatunde Farinloye, said the vehicle sustained minor damage, though no one was injured in the crash.

The sector commander advised motorists to drive cautiously, reiterating the need to comply with the 80km per hour speed limit on the bridge.

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