Disaster struck yesterday at Majidun in Lagos State as a Hilux bus with four passengers veered off the bridge and plunged into the river. The accident, according to eyewitnesses, happened around 5.20am. The bodies of the occupants of the vehicle were yet to be found as the time Sunday Sun left the scene.
Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the bodies could only be found within 24 hours if the victims did not eat before the incident and after 36 hours if they ate. The vehicle with registration number KSF 918 AU that belongs to Ikoyi Golf Club, was said to have been driven by the manager of the club identified as Kolawole Ahmed.
NEMA Information Officer, Ibrahim Farinloye, said the agency was informed a bit late but was able to race to the scene around 8am and immediately commenced rescue operation. He explained that after rigorous rescue mission, no body was found but the vehicle was recovered. He added that the rescue operation was massive as it involved Lagos Waterway Agency, Navy and local divers. “We were not informed in time. So we moved in around 8 am.
We immediately went into action. We mobilized the Lagos Waterway Agency, the Navy and the local divers for the operation but no body was recovered. We will continue tomorrow but the local divers are still searching ”, he said. Ahmed explained that getting the vehicle out of the river was a tough task as the agency had to go for a crane. “We got the crane free of charge and when the vehicle was brought out, nobody was inside”, he stated. He said the agency had asked people to inform their families and continue counseling them.
The head of the local divers that spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that they have tried everything within their power to recover the bodies. We tried our best but we are still on it”, he said, adding that they could be discovered around 6 am today. Some other witnesses that spoke to Sunday Sun, wondered how the vehicle veered off the road into the river. Others stated that the river has a kind of mystery.
“This river is not an ordinary river. It kills people anyhow. Some time ago, some people came to the river to bathe and they disappeared without a trace”, a resident said. The Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA) also stated that the rescue operation was at the scene. The General Manager, Dr. O.D Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed that no body had been recovered as at press time.