It was a dark Friday in Edo and Anambra States as two separate car crashes in killed over 80 passengers yesterday.
The Edo accident occured around 1pm on the Benin-Shagamu Expressway around Ugbogui, in Ovia South Local Government Area of the state, involving a trailer belonging to Dangote Industries, a petrol tanker marked GA 71 XA and a fully loaded luxury bus.
Sources at the scene reported that the trailer driver lost control after one of its tyres burst. He consequently rammed into the stationery tanker and luxury bus; the impact was followed by a huge ball of fire.
An official of the Federal Road Safety Corps who declined being mentioned because he was not authorised to address the press on the matter, confirmed the accident, saying that the trailer was coming from Lagos.
He, however, did not say where the luxury bus that had over 60 of its passengers killed was heading to or coming from.
He said, “Three people were rescued, and we estimate that over 60 persons died. Three others in the trailer died. As I speak, the whole place is blocked; fire fighters cannot even access the area.
“The whole place is still burning. The Dangote vehicle had a flat tyre.
It hit the petrol tanker, fell and hit the luxury bus.”
It was learnt that the fire spread to a nearby mechanic workshop where eight other vehicles were burnt and to a nearby local market too, which was also burnt.
The accident caused a traffic jam on the dual-carriage way and rescue activities went for hours with the actual casualty figure was yet to be ascertained.
In the Anambra incident, the Federal Road Safety Corps confirmed that 13 people were killed on the spot while 15 others were critically injured in a multiple accident that occurred at Ihiala on the Onitsha – Owerri Expressway.
The Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr. Hyginus Omeje, said that the accident occurred when an articulated vehicle coming from the Owerri lost control and ran into three vehicles who were waiting for another articulated vehicle making a U-turn opposite the police station at Ihiala.
He said two of the affected vehicles were fully loaded passenger buses belonging to the Rivers Transport Company while the other vehicle was a Honda saloon car.
He said 13 dead bodies were retrieved from the mangled vehicles on the spot, while 15 other people were taken to a hospital for treatment.