A train taking passengers from Ogun State to Apapa in Lagos on Friday morning derailed at the Shina Peters end of Iju. The incident occurred around 11:00am, with over one thousand passengers believed to be on board the 12-coach train.
However, there was no casualty as the speed of the train was broken by a rubbish heap close to the track.
One of the passengers, an employee of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, blamed the rail track for the accident, saying it was due for rehabilitation.
He said “It was the rail track that caused the derailment of the train because anytime I’m on board; I feel the coaches dance on the rail line. It didn’t just start today or yesterday, it has been going on for a long time. We thank God because the train was not moving too fast when the incident occurred, otherwise, there would have been casualties.”
Another passenger, who boards the train daily, said there would have been casualties if the incident had occurred at a peak period, either when people were leaving home for work in the morning or returning home in the evening.
She said, “I follow the train every day and you know how our trains are filled up at peak periods between 6.30am and 8.30am and in the evening, with so many people hanging precariously on them.
“If the accident had occurred at such times, some people would surely have died.”
An official of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed that the accident was caused by bad rail tracks.
The official said, “The train was coming from Ijoko, and had passed Oposuru, Itoki, Agbado and was at Iju when it derailed. It happened because the tracks are bad.
“But there was no sign (it would happen) except that the coaches were shaking and the train was slow. At least, over a thousand passengers were on board the train but no casualty was recorded.
“I doubt that any train would work again today. The Kano-bound trip would also be cancelled. We operate just a rail line. If we had about six lines like they have in developed countries, we would have just switched to another line and operations would have commenced immediately.
The official attributed the poor state of rail tracks in the country to mismanagement and sabotage by some corrupt persons.