The Assistant Director in charge of Publicity at The Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC Rauf Akinloye, disclosed on Sunday that four people died in the train accident that occurred at Jebba on Saturday.
He told journalists that three other passengers sustained injuries in the accident involving the Kano-bound train.
Mr. Akinloye said the rear portion of the train that derailed led to the death of the four persons whose corpses were deposited at the mortuary while those injured were discharged after receiving treatment.
He said the damaged tracks were being repaired in order to restore North-South services and assured travelers of safety of life and property while traveling on the trains in spite of the incident.
Mr. Akinloye’s official statement seems to be in slight variation with the various accounts floating around, an eye witnesses said the derailment occurred in the morning on the Lagos-Kano inter-city train service when a power coach (which houses the generating set) and two other coaches detached just as the train was about to climb the Niger Bridge.
Eyewitnesses say the detached coach which fell on its side fall on some passengers, killing them instantly. Others who sustained various forms of injuries were said to have been rushed to a nearby general hospital for urgent Medicare.
Another eyewitness, who asked that his identity be protected, said the accident claimed at least four lives with several undetermined number of injured commuters currently undergoing treatment at various emergency facilities in the town. He said the accident was as a result of a brake failure when the train tried to stop at Jebba.
Already, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara had commiserated with the families of the deceased. The governor, in a condolence message issued in Ilorin on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, wished the passengers who sustained injuries speedy recovery.
He described the accident as painful and unfortunate; pointing out that rail transportation was still one of the safest means of travelling. Mr. Ahmed called on the management of the corporation to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the accident with a view to preventing a recurrence.