Eighteen passengers in a commercial bus and the driver were lucky to escape death in Lagos on Sunday as their vehicle somersaulted on the Third Mainland Bridge.
The accident, according to eyewitnesses, occurred very close to the Iyana Oworo bus lay-by around 1.39pm, as the driver of the bus, which took off from the Ajah motor park and was heading for Iyana Ipaja, reportedly lost control of the vehicle after the ball joints of the front wheels pulled off.
The accident caused gridlock on the busy road and it took the combined efforts of officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos State Neighbourhood and Safety Corps, the Nigeria Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps and the Lagos State Ambulance Services to rescue the victims and clear a portion of the road for movement of stranded motorists.
Our correspondent, who was at the scene of the accident, saw seven of the victims being attended to by the LASEMA team of medical personnel and was informed that the first batch of victims had been taken to the general hospital by the LASAMBUS team.
One of the victims, who simply identified herself as Alhaja, managed to tell our correspondent that the driver was not speeding at the time the accident occurred and that the bus, with number plate, Lagos XR477GGE, developed a mechanical fault while on motion.
The General Manager of LASEMA, Adebayo Tiamiyu, who confirmed the incident, said the agency received a distress call at about 1.39pm through the emergency toll free line concerning an accident around Third Mainland Bridge inward Iyana Oworo.
He stated, “On getting to the scene of the incident, the agency’s response team discovered that a fully loaded Toyota Hiace commercial bus with number plate XR 477 GGE (Lagos), was involved in a lone accident. Further investigation by the LASEMA Response Team at the scene revealed that the accident was caused by a mechanical fault as the ball joint of the vehicle broke while on top speed, a situation which resulted in the bus losing control before somersaulting.
“Fortunately, no loss of lives was recorded but most of the passengers sustained various degrees of injury, with some of them taken to the hospital immediately, while six of them with minor injuries were administered with first aid treatment by the joint efforts of paramedics and LASAMBUS officials. The vehicle has been towed off the road with the aid of the agency’s light tow truck and the road is now free and safe for motorists.”
Tiamiyu urged motorists to ensure that they drive within the approved speed limit and always ensure the roadworthiness of their vehicles before embarking on journeys.