No fewer than nine persons have been confirmed dead, while one other was injured after a Toyota Hummer crashed into a truck in Awo community, in the Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, southwest Nigeria.
Punch reports that the vehicle was coming from Lagos and heading to Abuja when the accident occurred around 6 am on Igede-Awo Road.
It was gathered that the only survivor of the accident was the bus driver.
An official of the FRSC, who spoke to Punch, said the driver was on top speed when he rammed into the trailer.
He said, “It was an 18-seater bus and it collided with the trailer on Igede-Awo Road. The accident happened around 6.15am. A total of 11 people were involved. Nine people died and their corpses have been deposited at the mortuary of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti. The two people who got injured were admitted to the medical centre. The vehicle was not fully loaded.
“Nobody can really say where the bus was coming from because there was no passenger manifest. But from the number plate of the vehicle, we believe the passengers were coming from Lagos. Both the bus and the trailer were on motion.”
Similarly, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said the bus had the number plate, Lagos EKY 978 XJ, while the trailer was registered, Yobe XB 404 FKA.
The PPRO, who also confirmed nine deaths, however, noted that the truck was stationary.
He said, “The bus rammed into a stationary DAF truck. Nine persons aboard the bus died on the spot, while the only survivor sustained serious injuries. The deceased were removed by our men and deposited in a morgue. The survivor was in a coma, so we could not interview him for any information.”
Ikechukwu said the police had started making efforts to inform the family members of the victims.
On his part, the spokesperson for the FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, said the accident was caused by speeding.
He said, “One person was injured and nine died. Of the casualties, nine were males and one was female. The accident was caused by speeding, which led to loss of control. The obstruction has been cleared from the road.”
In a similar vein, a top official at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, where the victims were taken to, said nine dead bodies were brought to the mortuary.
The official, who asked not to be identified, explained that the only survivor was the driver.
He said, “Nine bodies were brought to the mortuary and their family members have come to take them away. The only survivor was the bus driver. He suffered a broken arm and some other minor injuries. He is on admission. The driver rammed into a stationary truck.”
The state Commissioner for Information, Lanre Ogunsuyi, expressed sadness at the incident, saying commercial drivers needed to be careful as the year drew to a close.
His words: “It is a tragic incident. We appeal to drivers; there is nothing like Ember months. They should be more careful and drive with caution. The Federal Government should also try to maintain the federal roads and at least make them motorable. We send condolences to the families of the deceased and wish the injured quick recovery.”