Two Islamic clerics lost their lives on Saturday after their jeep collided with a bus and plunged into a canal at the Iyana Ipaja end of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
Source learnt that the victims, Alhaji Akinsola Al-Ameen and Muyideen Thiamiyu, were coming back from Ikorodu when their vehicle had a tyre burst around 10pm.
According to eyewitnesses, after the tyre burst, Thiamiyu, who was the driver, lost control of the vehicle.
He was said to be attempting to bring the jeep to a halt when a big yellow bus with number plate FKJ 201 SH rammed into them, causing both vehicles to veer off the expressway into the canal.
A relative of Al-Ameen, who preferred to remain anonymous because he was not authorised to speak on behalf of the family, said the clerics were on their way to the Ifo area of Ogun State when the unfortunate incident occurred.
The relative said, “Although Al-Ameen was not the one driving the jeep, he was the owner of the vehicle. He was 64 years and the Zonal Missioner of Shams ul Deen, an Islamic society.
“The driver of the vehicle, Thiamiyu, was 50 years and he was the Zonal Missioner of the Shasha branch of Shams ul Deen.
“Both of them had gone for a religious programme in Ikorodu and were on their way back to Ifo when the accident occurred.”
It was learnt that shortly after the accident, the driver of the bus, later identified by the police as Ibeabuchi, fled the scene.
It was learnt that officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency; the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos State Ambulance Service and policemen attached to the Elere Police Division raced to the scene in an attempt to rescue the victims to no avail.
The General Manager, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osayintolu, said the corpses had been handed over to the police.
“Around 10pm on Saturday, a Toyota Pathfinder with number plate FKJ 516 AL collided with a bus at Pleasure Bus Stop, inward Abule Egba, and fell into the canal. Bodies of the deceased persons have been handed over to the police,” he said.
It was learnt that the two victims had been buried on Sunday morning according to Islamic rites.
It was observed that the incident caused a traffic snarl on Sunday as onlookers still crowded the scene.
LASTMA officials tried for hours to evacuate the two vehicles from the canal.
A resident, Segun Jimba, told Source that vehicles plunging into the canal had become common occurrence.
“In December, a 24-seater passenger bus plunged into the same canal. The canal is located just after a sharp bend and it is easy for anyone who is not familiar with the terrain to skid off the expressway, especially at night,” he said.
A LASTMA official at the scene, who confirmed the trend, said a report would be sent to the state government.
“We are aware of the trend. We will inform the Ministry of Transportation so that appropriate signage would be put in place, especially because of the sharp bend,” he said.