Scores escape death as truck pursued by LASTMA crashes into PTML building

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Several Customs operatives and clearing agents operating at the PTML Mile 2 Annex, Lagos yesterday escaped death even as business activities were paralysed after a truck crashed into the building housing both the customs office and staff of the terminal operator.

According to eyewitness account, the incident occurred around 6.30am yesterday when some Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials with vehicle number APAPA 01 pursued and tried to accost the driver of the truck for allegedly attempting to reverse on the Mile 2- Apapa Oshodi expressway.

SHIPS & PORTS DAILY gathered that the driver of the truck had veered off the expressway and ran into the PTML building when the LASTMA officials together with the touts who work with them tried to forcefully seize control of the steering while the truck was in motion.

It was also gathered that some customs officers and a motorcyclist were serious injured in the accident.

Chief Security Officer of the terminal, Oscar Aliu described the incident as a colossal damage.

He said, “The incident happened around 6.30am. The truck was making a mere reverse on the road and the LASTMA officials wanted to accost him together with their camp boys. In the cause of fighting the driver and trying to take control of the steering, the trailer skidded off the highway and hit the fence. An Okada guy was smashed to almost death and we are still battling if he can survive the situation.

“The estimate of the damage is colossal because Customs is yet to come out with the damage of the equipment stationed here. Some customs officers were partly injured and most of them are currently undergoing treatment. One of our staff vehicles was mangled, the fence is gone, and the main building too is gone so the damage is colossal.”

While the LASTMA officials at the centre of the accident took to their heels, it was gathered that one of the touts who collect bribe money on their behalf was been apprehended.

When contacted, image maker of the PTML Customs Command, Steve Okonmah said although the incident will partially disrupt activities at the PTML Annex, measures were being put in place to ensure that work resumes in no time.

“This is a place where you have officers, agents gathered everyday but we thank God they have not gathered before this incident happened. It has disrupted job but we are working round the clock to make sure that work resumes immediately,” he said.—Ships and Ports

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