ABUJA, NIGERIA – Nigerian authorities say 20 people were killed over the weekend following two truck-related road accidents.
According to authorities, in one of the accidents, the truck, carrying a 12-meter-long (39-feet-long) container, was traveling on a bridge when the driver lost control and collided with the bus while it was picking up passengers. The container fell onto the bus, crushing those on board.
Five men, two women and two children were among the dead.
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, or LASTMA, Sunday said it rescued four people after hours of operations at Ojuelegba in the southwestern part of the state.
Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the permanent secretary of LASTMA, said that “We’ve completed the operations. We have put the dead bodies in the mortuary and the other one that was rescued has been evacuated to the hospital where she’s receiving adequate treatment. We’re going to look at it holistically; we’re going to carry out investigations.’
Oke-Osanyintolu said overhead barricades mounted by authorities at the foot of the bridge to prevent trucks from ascending the span had been removed.
He said the police will further investigate the matter.
Such accidents are common in Nigeria’s economic hub where truck drivers mandated to strap down containers on their vehicles rarely do so and many roads are in poor condition.
In a separate incident, authorities say 11 people were killed at the Soka bridge on the Lagos-Benin Highway when a truck driving against traffic collided with another commercial bus.
Last year, LASTMA recorded more than 100 truck and tanker accidents between January and July.
The accidents often spark outrage and criticism of the government’s inability to monitor and regulate the movement of heavy-duty vehicles crisscrossing often crowded locations in the state.
On Sunday, citizens called on authorities to ban the movement of trucks during the day, but Oke-Osanyintolu said that could harm economic activities, and that the government will look for a better way forward.
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