A white delivery truck on Tuesday afternoon at Grammar School Bus Stop, Along Ogba- ojodu Berger Road Lagos, rammed into school children returning back from school killing seventeen in the process.
The truck was allegedly being chased by officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA in conjunction with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
However, FRSC Lagos command spokesperson, Olabisi Sonusi in a statement, said its officials had no hand in the tragedy.
He explained that the articulated truck lost control at the Grammar School Bus Stop and his men only intervened after the crash.
“After the accident, the men of the FRSC were called upon by passersby to help intervene after the crash happened.
“The general public should disregard the disgruntled information being circulated by some unscrupulous elements that FRSC men caused the crash.
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“We want to place on record that our men were not in any way involved in the cause of the crash as patrol activities were not ongoing along that axis as of the time of the crash,” the statement read.
The school children who were pupils from Ojodu Grammar school, were coming back from school when the truck driver who was attempting to escape from the officials rammed into them.
According to an eyewitness account, immediately after the accident happened, the truck driver, ran away but was caught at Ogba very close to Excellence Hotel, where it was set ablaze by irate commuters.
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According to a student who witnessed the accident, “the sight is something else, the kids were crushed, the accident happened immediately the school opened their school gate after the close of school. I am not sure about the number, as at when I left they said 17 children were confirmed dead.”
Taking caution, police officers barricaded their gates, firing gunshots and tear gas canisters at intervals from inside the station – a take home after the EndSARS protest that left the station an many others around Lagos State in flames.
“We are on top of the situation,” said Adekunle Ajisebutu, a chief superintendent of police.
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“Adequate policemen are on ground to maintain law and order. The situation is being professionally handled.”
LASEMA Confirms Killing
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA has confirmed the death of students at Ogunusi Road, Grammar School bus stop, Ojodu Berger, after a truck rammed into them.
LASEMA in a statement confirmed that the truck lost control and rammed into the students returning from school, killing scores while others were left with injuries.
“UPDATE: Situation Report on the truck accident
“The agency received a distress call at 2:56 pm about a truck accident at Ogunusi Road, Grammar School bus stop, Ojodu Berger.
“The information gathered from LASTMA and NPF (police) officials at the scene revealed that an unidentified truck lost control and rammed into students returning from school.
“The incident led to severe injuries to some victims, others were discovered dead.
LASEMA, could not ascertain the number of fatalities and casualties at the time of reporting.
The agency added that the attack by the miscreants led the emergency team to return to base as the scene was insecure and unsafe for rescue and recovery operations.
It was signed by signed by Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, DG/CEO of LASEMA.
Parents besiege School in search for their children
Meanwhile, many parents in Lagos have besieged Ojodu Grammar School in search of their children after a heavy-duty truck conveying detergents crushed some students to death on Tuesday.
The parents gathered around the school searching for their children who did not return home on Tuesday.
FRSC Sector Corps Commander, Olusegun Ogungbemide however commiserate with the families of the deceased, that God will grant them the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss. He also prayed that the injured will recuperate fast.
He added that normalcy as been restored to the axis as security agents are on ground to ensure free flow of movements for motorists.
Truck Driver Arrested – Police PRO
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, have also confirmed the arrest of the driver, adding that investigation had commenced into the incident.
“The driver has been arrested. Investigation into the accident is ongoing,” he told reporters.
NANS demands justice
Moreso, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Southwest (Zone ‘D) has said the crushing to death of pupils by a truck in Lagos on Tuesday can be likened to a deliberate murder of a bright future of some innocent souls.
It therefore called for a thorough investigation into the role played by some security personnel and traffic related outfits in the matter, saying any indicted person should be prosecuted.
The outgoing Coordinator of the association in the zone, Comrade Kappo Olawale Samuel, said on Tuesday night that a part of the future of the country had been aborted through the unfortunate incident.
“it is sad that the safety of the brightest and yet to be corrupted souls in Nigeria could not be protected by road safety (LASTMA/VIO) personnel whose interest is on the token to be collected from the defiant murderer (truck driver).
“The truck driver, alongside the LASTMA personnel who worked this afternoon at Grammar School Bus Stop, along Ogba-Ojodu, collaborated to murder our future. This is coming at a period when the entire Nigerian students in the country are still mourning the death of Master Sylvester Oromoni,” he said.
The Coordinator said that the men of the Nigeria Police Force have also shown their well known history of anti-masses approach to all issues by shooting directly at harmless Nigerian students who were at the scene.
The association said that a world press conference would be held by the leadership of NANS Southwest (Zone ‘D) to further get justice for the pupils who were murdered on this black Tuesday.