UPDATE: Eighteen persons were yesterday feared dead in Nkpor, near Onitsha, Anambra State, when a speeding trailer reportedly lost control as it descended the Nkpor flyover and rammed into a vehicle belonging to the state Transport Company (TRACAS) as well as six others.
It was learnt that the accident occurred at the yam section of Nkpor Main Market, at 4:30pm. The trailer fell on traders by the roadside and other unsuspecting road users.
It hit several other vehicles on a single lane because of the construction on the other side of the road.
An eyewitness, Dede Uzor A. Uzor, who is the state Chairman of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), said 15 of the victims were suspected to be students.
He said the trailer was heading to Onitsha while the buses were leaving Onitsha.
Another source, who spoke in confidence, said he saw seven bodies being carried away in an ambulance from Iyi-Enu Hospital, Ogidi.
The source said the fuel tanker brakes of the failed on top of the bridge, causing the multiple accident.
TRACAS Managing Director Tony Ileka said one of the vehicles in the company’s fleet was also involved.
He said 14 passengers had only three survivors.
The TRACAS chief could not give further details on other vehicles involved in the accident as well as the victims.
Ileka said though the students’ vehicle was hit, nobody died.
The CD criticised the alleged delay by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in responding to the emergency calls to attend to the victims.
Its Chairman, Uzor, urged Governor Peter Obi to assist the survivors besides visiting them at the hospital.
He decried what he called excessive speed among drivers of long lorries.
Uzor said: “The driver should be arrested and prosecuted for murder, because his speed appeared as if he was on a suicide mission in the midst of a crowd.”
The Anambra State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr Hyginus Omeje, faulted Uzor’s criticisms.
He said FRSC officials usually go to accident scenes, even where they are not invited, to care for victims.
The FRSC commander said his men did not waste time in responding to the distress calls they received.
According to him, the casualty figure was 18 yesterday – The Nation
18 persons were feared dead on Monday as articulated vehicle lost control and teared through other vehicles at Nkpor, near Onitsha in Anambra, FRSC says.
It was gathered that the first vehicle, a truck, coming down the newly constructed bridge at Nkpor rammed into eight other vehicles.