Nigeria: Man Electrocuted Atop Moving Train

Lagos — A man simply identified as Saidi, whose marriage is scheduled for Dec. 21, was on Thursday night electrocuted while sitting on top of a moving passenger-train.

A correspondent , who was on board the train, reports that the incident occurred while the overloaded Lagos-Ogun train was heading for Iju from Agege, both in Lagos.

Saidi came in contact with an electric wire that passed through the rail line.

He, however, did not die but laid on top of the train, panting, and was brought down at Iju Train Station by some other passengers.

The train was delayed at the station to enable the man to be brought down.

Saidi was later rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention as his face and head were injured.

One of his friends, who sat with him on the train, said that Saidi did not know that he was near the electric wire.

The friend, who pleaded anonymity, said that he was in charge of distributing some fabrics for Saidi’s wedding ceremony.

A top official of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) told NAN in Lagos that the management would visit the injured passenger in the hospital and charge him to court.

According to the official, who did not want to be identified, it is an offence for a passenger to seat on top of a moving train or hang by the sides.

He said that the offences attracted a term of imprisonment or fine or both.

Meanwhile, passengers have continued to blame the NRC’s management for hanging and sitting on top of trains as well as congestion of trains.

They blamed the situation on the corporation’s failure to provide adequate number of coaches for its numerous passengers.

“The management, though, believes in passengers’ safety, lacks utmost respect for them,” a female passenger, Mrs Idiat Hassan, said.

Hassan said that the number of coaches on the Iddo, Lagos -Ijoko, Ogun route was reducing daily while the number of passengers increased.

Another passenger, Kunle Cole, told NAN that the NRC deployed some trains it used for short distance services for long distance services.

Cole, a medical doctor, said that a number of train users had collapsed, injured and suffered miscarriages due to congestion.

Also the locomotive on Dec. 9 ran over a baby boy abandoned on a rail track between Agbado and Itoki stations in Ogun.

Also, on Dec. 6, a late night train crushed a young man, who plugged an earphone while smoking Indian hemp and sitting on a rail track at Iju Station.