By FELIX OGBONNA
Aba — Road users in Aba, Abia state are grumbling over the inability of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, to erect warning signs at railway crossings along major roads to avert possibilities of motorists being crushed by moving trains in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State. South East Voice investigations showed that there are no indicators to warn road users on the movement of trains at the Aba –Owerri; Okigwe, Ama Ogbonna and School roads railway crossings.
At the Aba –Owerri road railway crossing, it was observed that a man who appeared like a railway traffic officer was waving a red flag to warn road users as a moving train horned from a distance. A bus driver who plies the Ngwa road — Ariaria route, Mr Chibuzo Nwankwo said he escaped being crushed on two occasions by a train as he sped through the Okigwe road railway crossing.
According to him, “I did not hear the sound or the horning by the train. I was on speed and trying to cross the railway crossing at Okigwe road not knowing that a train was just few metres away. When people noticed the train, everybody including passengers started shouting, this created tension. The railway people should put indicators on the road to warn people about the movement of the trains.”
Another resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity said he and his children were almost crushed by a train at Aba–Owerri road as he made to drive past the railway crossing without as there was no indication that the train was on track. Lamenting the situation, a shop owner along the Ama Ogbonna railway crossing, who gave her as Mrs. Nkolika Ude, told South East Voice that few months ago, two men later identified as mobile policemen narrowly escaped death when a moving train rammed into their car at the railway crossing.
She added that the policemen were hit by the moving train which continued to drag their car until it crashed beyond repair. “It is just about few months ago, we heard a loud sound and rushed out of our shops only to see a train dragging a car at top speed. It only stopped when it threw the car off the railway track.
“When we got there, we thought they were dead, but later found out that they were alive. One of the men sustained severe injuries on his palm while the other had no injuries. When they were brought out of the damaged car, they identified themselves as policemen and told us that they were hit by the train as they made to drive pass the railway track.”
She called on the railway authorities to erect warning signals and post traffic officers at the rail crossings to warn road users about the movement of trains. Efforts to get the reaction of the railway authorities at the Eziama Railway station were unsuccessful as the official told South East Voice to call back on several occasions.