At least, 20 persons have been confirmed dead in separate fatal crashes that occurred on Sunday at Ojuelegba Bridge and Soka bridge on the Lagos-Benin highway.
According to a preliminary investigation conducted into the fatal crashes by the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Ojuelegba crash involved a Mack Truck with a 40 feet container with registration number KJA 380 KD.
It was gathered that the vehicle was engaged in excessive speed, and indulged in an act of wrongful overtaking with a Suzuki mini bus registered as KTU 921 YD; while the Soka road accident involved a truck driven against traffic and a Marcopolo bus.
According to FRSC, the container mounted on the Mack Truck at Ojuelegba, operatives, fell off the truck and landed on the Suzuki minibus filled up with passengers which led to the death of nine of the passengers.
As at press time, 11 victims were burnt beyond recognition at the Soka bridge while the Ojuelegba crash involved 13 people, nine males and four females. Out of the 13 people, nine were killed: five Male adults, one male child, one female child and two female adults.
Out of the four victims who survived the Ojuelegba crash, two were rescued without injuries while the remaining two sustained various degrees of injuries.
Meanwhile, the Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu in a statement in Abuja signed by the Assistant Corps Marshal and Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, frowned at the incident and explained the importance of barricading the bridge against articulated vehicles citing some of the dangers that come with their continued use of the bridge.
He revealed that the FRSC rescue teams in collaboration with other emergency management agencies, have cleared obstructions from the crash scenes for ease of movement while the driver of the Mack Truck has been arrested and handed over to the Police for further investigation and possible prosecution.
He added that efforts are in top gear to arrest the driver that caused the Soka bridge crash. Biu called for efforts to be made towards expanding the connecting roads under the bridge to accommodate all articulated vehicles.
The FRSC Boss warned commuters against route violation popularly referred to in the local parlance as ‘one way’ as well as driving against prescribed legal speed limits on all roads.
The Corps Marshal also added that the need for the enactment of laws that will bring justice to victims of these crashes and where such laws already exist, efforts should be made to activate them so that justice will be served accordingly to both the drivers and the victims.