Train derails in Lagos

A section of a train returning from Ijoko in Lagos State to its base at Ebutte Metta, Lagos on Wednesday derailed at Agege.

The incident which occurred between 11.30pm and 12.30am was said to have been caused by defective tracks.

As of 11am on Wednesday, the scene of the accident had been cordoned off by policemen from the Railway police.

An employee of the National Railway Corporation told PUNCH Metro, on the condition of anonymity, that the driver of the locomotive also shared the blame in  the accident.

The source said, “The rails were not aligned properly; there was a gap between them which ought not to be. It so happened that the driver who was driving the locomotive, was moving at a high speed. When he ran into the improperly laid rails, the locomotive was thrown off the rails.

“Although the driver was hurt, the injuries are not life threatening. The accident could have been avoided though if he wasn’t speeding. Both the driver and those responsible for laying the tracks, will be sanctioned.”

When PUNCH Metro visited the scene, over 15 employees of the NRC were on the ground. Our correspondent reported that the accident had thrown the locomotive off the rails, causing a section of the engine, to tilt slightly to its side while a second section remained upright.

As of 4pm, engineers and other employees of the NRC, were still battling to get the locomotive back on the rails with the aid of a crane. A few metres away, other employees worked at fixing the rails which had been damaged by the accident.

Spokesperson for the NRC in Lagos, Mr. Adekanbi, confirming the incident, told PUNCH Metro that the cause of the accident was unknown.

He said, “I am not at the scene right now so I cannot tell you if the cause of the accident were the rails. We have our own methods of handling such situations.

“At the moment, all we are doing is trying to get the locomotive back on the rails so that it can be moved away. The cause of the accident is unknown, but the driver is unhurt.

“It is when we are able to get the locomotive back on the rails that we can say what caused the accident. However, it is a minor accident.”

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