A purported message from the Nigeria Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Monday caused confusion and panic to many Nigerians’ homes as it was claimed an accident had occurred on the Lagos Third Mainland bridge.
The report on its Twitter account which said a fully loaded BRT bus had dropped into the Lagoon on Lagos 3Rd Mainland Bridge accidentally, warning motorists to drive more cautiously.
As the news glitters pages of many online News fora and social network platforms at about noon on Monday, a denial came through the same social Network (Twitter) that the news was only a Hoax.
Two people whose family members were travelling just as the news broke on twitter and sent across the world were said to have been hospitalized in Lagos, following shocks received as a result of the Twitter report.
According to the earlier information,broadcast via its Twitter account: “@FRSCNigeria A fully loaded BRT bus fell off the 3rd mainland bridge into the Lagos lagoon, 26-11-12. Rescue work in progress. Motorists be cautious.”
A few hours later, the Lagos State Traffic Management and its Emergency Management LASEMA Officials refuted the purported story, denying knowledge of any such accident in Lagos. Travelers en route the bridge also claimed there was no sign of any accident, assuring free flow of traffic on the bridge all day was undeterred.
“It’s a hoax”; claimed another FRSC, officially denying the report.
Spokesman for the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Jonas Agwu, however confirmed that the news which spread like a wild fire, circulating across the world was a hoax.Mr. Agwu could not immediately say why its officers sent out the tweet, he, however, said it was a “hoax.”
“We have spoken to the Lagos Command and there is nothing like that,” he said.
The Lagos state sector commander of FRSC, Nse Akpabio, denied that the information that lead to the tweet from Abuja emanated from them.
“Who called them (FRSC Abuja, managers of the twitter handle)?” he asked.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, however, said a BRT bus crashed at about the time FRSC sent out the spurious tweet, at another location.
“A BRT bus was involved in an accident at Ebute-Ero, near Idumota, Lagos Island, with casualties, no mortality,” Oluwafemi Oke, LASEMA boss said.
FRSC applies the social media extensively. It has operated its twitter account since September 2009 and has over 13,000 followers it feeds with road accident updates and driving tips.
It also maintains a Facebook Page with over 16,000 ‘likes’ and is one of the government agencies that are open with information.
As the FRSC recovers from the embarrassment, it is being worked out whether Account hackers may have penetrated into the Twitter account of Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Corps, causing the false message to be dispensed.
Addition : Premium Times