By DAPO OLAWUNI
There was pandemonium inside the Apapa port of Lagos on Thursday afternoon as a train bringing containers into the port had derailed and rammed into moving truck carrying 2×20 foot containers fully loaded with cargoes.
Even though normalcy have now returned inside the port, eyewitnesses who spoke earlier with DAILY TREND NEWS disclosed that, for several hours, there was no access into the ENL Terminal, APM Terminals and the ABTL Terminals through the usual railway crossing.
According to a senior official of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) at Apapa Port who pleaded anonymity, there was no casualty at the accident.
The official stated that the event happened at the railway crossing as a result of the train derailing and crashing into a truck.
“The train was bringing containers into the port and it must have derailed slightly and it hit a moving truck. The truck already had clearance to move because the train has already passed through, we don’t know why the train came back
“We have already mobilised cranes to remove the wreckage and normalcy has returned. There is free access restored at the port now”
According to the staff, all hands were on deck to quickly ensure that the wreckage was cleared. The wreckage was only removed about 6pm Thursday evening.
“Everybody is on ground trying to sort it out. ABTL has released their cranes to assist, we are trying to get the wagons off, so that the train can move” the staff said.
Also speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS, an eyewitness to the accident, Hon Frank Aliako confirmed that normalcy has returned.
He however gave a different account of the whole incident.
Speaking he said “The NPA officials said the train had already given them signal that they are coming into the port and they have closed the railway crossing at the roundabout.
“But the truck driver was waiting at the roundabout and somebody was signaling him to start coming since the train is not yet coming.
“He came down, opened the closed barricade and started moving, by that time, the moving train was already too close. The truck head had ready escaped, but the body of the truck the two containers on it was rammed to the wall of ENL along the 1.6kilometer port access road
“The container was fully loaded. So the owners of the container have lost a lot.
“Another school of thought claimed that the train has already crossed and that trucks have already crossing, but that the train returned backwards to hit the truck” he said
Aliakor said NPA officials, Anti-Bomb Square, Customs officers, and Nigerian Railway Corporation officials were all on ground to handle the situation.
The event stretched into the usual closing hours, so, a lot of port users could not leave the port. They had to be directed through Flourmill exit gate.