Outrage as truck crushes pupils to death in Lagos

There was protest by residents yesterday at Ojodu, a Lagos surburb, as an articulated truck crushed pupils of Babs Fafunwa Millennium Secondary School, who were returning home after school hours.

No fewer than 17 students were feared dead at the Grammar School Bus Stop, Ogunnusi Road, along Ogba-Ojodu/Berger axis, according to eye witness, who said the truck driver was trying to evade arrest by Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) and men of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) from Berger Division, Ikeja.

The pupils wanted to cros the road when the truck rammed into them.

It was gathered that the brake of the truck failed during the hot chase by VIO and LASTMA officials.

Anxious parents stormed the scene, a stone throw from the Ogba/Ojodu road to inquire about the corpses and the injured victims.

Economic activities were paralysed as residents trooped out to protest the avoidable tragedy, blaming the notorious driver, VIO and LASTMA officers for the accident.

However, the Lagos Stae Police Command confirmed that the corpses of 10 pupils evacuated from the accident scene have been taken to the mortuary.

Other casualties are receiving treatment at the hospital, the police added.

The truck was set ablaze by the angry mob while the VIO vehicle was vandalised.

Also, the mob chased the driver to Ogba, where he was apprehended by the police.

There was gridlock and the traffic stretched towards Ogba axis as some protesters blocked a section of the road with tyres.

However, as at press time, the Area F Police Command, which could not confirm the number of casualties, confirmed that they have evacuated two corpses from the accident scene and taken to hospital.

The eyewitness said the incident occurred at 3.15pm and the pupils were returning home in groups.

He said: “The trailer was coming with speed from Berger area heading to Ogba. He was being chased by VIO and LASTMA officers. So, he hit the students, who were about to cross the road. The children were shouting for help, but the trailer driver ran away instead of stopping. The children were many, about 15 children. One policeman came and he said there were 15 children. Many of them were injured.

“The truck driver was trying to escape. Then, a car double-crossed him. So, he came down and people started chasing him. When they caught him, he brought out a knife to attack the crowd. So, someone hit him from behind, took the knife from him and stabbed him. So, he was now taken to the Grammar School Police Station. The students were angry and started throwing stones, attacking and vandalising any truck in sight.

Another eyewitness said: “The truck, after hitting the students, also hit two pedestrians around Aguda area in Ogba just before the Excellence Hotel. The victims were immediately rushed to the Ifako General Hospital.”

At the God’s Apple Hospital, four casualties were brought in critical condition and moved to a specialist hospital for scanning.

Credit: THE NATION

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