Tuesday 13 December 2016

Highway of Death: Dangerous Road in Lagos That has Killed 14 People in the Past 6 Months

A commercial bus driver, identified as Lukman Agboola, was electrocuted to death on Friday at the Glasshouse bus stop end of the Ikorodu Road. The tragic incident caused serious panic in the area. Agboola, who was married with a child, was said to have finished the day’s work around 8.30pm and was relaxing when his attention was called to an accident involving a commercial bus and a private vehicle on the Ikorodu Road.
While attempting to cross the road to the scene of the accident, he was said to have been electrocuted after coming in contact with an iron attached to the road’s median. The death of Agboola generated a protest in the Mile 12 area on Saturday as bus drivers conveying the corpse for burial in his hometown in Abeokuta, Ogun State, blocked the road.
Reports from a medical practitioner and Director of Dan’s Medical Centre, Dr Bassey Eton, that Agboola was the 14th person to be electrocuted at the spot in the past six months. One of Agboola’s friends, Olabanji Aremu, said the 42-year-old went to the accident scene to assist in rescue efforts.

 He said, “Around 8.30pm, a private car and a commercial bus had a collision on the expressway around Glasshouse bus stop, in the Kosofe Local Government Area. Four people were injured, including a baby and her mother. “Lukman (Agboola) was resting when people told him about the accident. He quickly ran there to see how he could be of help.

“He had crossed the service lane and expressway and was about scaling the median when he was electrocuted. He was rushed to a hospital where he died.”

 Another friend of Agboola, who identified himself only as Sikiru, told our correspondent that Agboola was survived by a child, a pregnant wife and an aged mother.
 The widow, Joy, described the death as a big loss to the family. A resident of the area, Friday Omoseyitan, said a pregnant woman was electrocuted to death at the same spot about a month ago.
“Anytime the streetlights are put on, that spot becomes a danger zone. Anybody that passes that spot and touches the iron on the median is dead. We believe that some electrical wires from the streetlights have contact with the iron. Within the past four months, seven people have died and they were all strangers,” he added. The medical practitioner, Eton, however, put the number of electrocution at 14 in the past six months, saying he witnessed some of the cases.
 He said, “Out of the five people I personally attended to, three male adults pulled through, while two died. The two – an unidentified woman and Agboola – were not breathing when they were brought in. The other three were still breathing, although they were unconscious. “The woman’s case happened a month ago. Some sympathisers brought her and by the time I checked, she was already gone. I called the Lagos State Ambulance Service, which then redirected us to the State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit, which eventually came to take the corpse away. “The five cases I attended to happened between the months of July and now. The rest of the 14 victims were taken away by ambulances. I have kept count of the cases.” The medical practitioner said efforts to get the government’s attention to the case had been abortive.
 That despite the reported death rates at the spot, many unsuspecting commuters still passed the spot. It was observed that there was no pedestrian bridge between the Ketu and Mile 12 areas. The Baale of Ayedere community, Asubiaro Shamusideen, said some electrical wires from the streetlights had connection with the iron on the median, adding that nobody knew  the spot of the connection. He said, “I use to cross the expressway like every other person until I heard people were getting electrocuted.  I have only heard about four deaths at that spot since this year started. You are the one informing me of this man’s death. It is unfortunate, but I don’t think people can really stop crossing the road.”
 The Deputy Head of Communications and Strategy, Ikeja Electric, Olusola Ayeni, said the streetlights were under the control of the Lagos State Electricity Board, adding that the firm had nothing to do with the area. When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, did not pick his calls and had yet to respond to a text message sent to him.

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