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Lagos Train-Bus accident affects 102 people

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By Abiodun Okunloye

The collision left many of the employees going to work injured, and some died.

Following a fatal collision between a train and a bus transporting Lagos State government employees to their workplaces, Professor Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, provided additional details on the incident on Friday. Speaking alongside other personnel like Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, the Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, and Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Lagos State Head of Service, he revealed that there were 102 people impacted in the accident, resulting in six deaths. He said that two people had died at the accident site, four had died at LASUTH, and others had suffered critical or minor injuries.

He commended the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS) and other involved agencies for their professionalism and noted the short amount of time it takes to transport patients from the scene of an accident to the hospital. Around 7:30 in the morning on March 9th, the moving train collided with a bus carrying employees of the Lagos State government to work. At 7:45 a.m. prompt, the rescue agencies came to the scene to secure the area and begin sorting the victims. By 8:10 a.m., the first of the victims arrived at the hospital, and they were given the care they needed.

256 units of blood were donated by volunteers to rescue the victims.

Expressing sympathy for the victims’ families, he added that no deaths had occurred since those on Thursday and late Friday. Although some casualties required surgery, he added that with timely access to safe blood, they were able to save their lives. The victims who were rushed in with bleeding into their abdomen, chest or brain were saved. 40 blood units have been transfused so far to stabilize the casualties. They appreciate everyone in Lagos State who made it out to the blood donation. They are delighted with the 256 units of donated blood that they received from sympathizers and volunteers.

More so, 25 people were taken to other hospitals in Lagos State for treatment of less severe injuries, and those facilities includes Lagos Island General Hospital, Orile Agege General Hospital, Gbagada General Hospital, and Toll-Gate Accident and Emergency Centre. Currently, LASUTH has discharged 19 patients; 5 patients are about to be discharged from the Toll-Gate Accident and Emergency Centre, and ten patients are near discharge from Orile-Agege. In addition to praying for the victims’ families, he assured them that the Lagos State Government would cover the costs of their medical care as is customary in such situations.

Victims are treated in open spaces so they can be accessed properly.

According to him, the cause for the rise in fatalities may be related to the circumstances surrounding the accident. They believe there are injured persons outside the vehicle because the railway dragged the bus for roughly 100 meters. The 102 casualty can be attributed to that. As several passengers were injured, it will be a while before they hear from them again to gather their full reports. It is not the time to overwhelm them with questions; rather, as they improve, more and more information will become available.

However, He suggested that those criticizing the hospitals for treating victims outdoors may be unfamiliar with international best practices in the case of a mass casualty event. Following the incident, LASUTH successfully set up a care centre outside the hospital’s emergency department, which was a crucial step in separating and examining patients to determine which ones were in the direst need of immediate attention. To save the most lives possible, triage is always performed in open areas where all victims can be scanned simultaneously and swiftly separated by professionals.

Driver training is essential so they can improve their skills.

Similarly, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Lagos State Head of Service, expressed remorse over the driver’s behavior and stated that State-employed drivers receive regular training. He said these buses could carry up to 85 people, with 45 seated and 40 standing. He assumed that the bus was full because many people who didn’t have enough cash chose to take the free bus instead of a paid bus. As for the driver, the police are currently looking into the incident. Driver training is essential as there are institutions where they can improve their skills. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario can occur.

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