Eleven persons on Thursday lost their lives while eight others sustained severe injuries in multiple accidents involving an 18-seater Toyota Hiace commuter bus, a Kia car, and a truck belonging to Dangote company. The accident was said to have occurred around 11 am at the notorious Ovia River bridge at the Edo State axis of the Benin-Lagos Expressway.
Sources at the spot attributed the avoidable accident to over-speeding by the truck driver heading towards Benin. A viral video of the accident scene earlier in the day showed dead bodies and personal effects of the deceased littering the ground while officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, tried frantically to retrieve corpses from the mangled bus with the inscription “Salvation Army”.
According to an eyewitness, the “Toyota Hiace bus going to the East en-route Edo State, slowed down at the bad portion of the Ovia river bridge but a Dangote truck that was on top speed rammed into the bus, killing most of the passengers”.
It was gathered that some of the victims were returning after attending a programme organised by a popular Lagos- based church.
The Edo State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC) Paul Okpe, confirmed that “We had a crash on the bridge at Ovia River this morning. A truck ran into a Toyota Hummer Bus, and the casualty is 11 persons lost their lives, very unfortunate; and eight persons were injured. Both the dead and the injured were moved to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) by our ambulances, and three vehicles were involved.
“The truck ran into the Hummer; but before hitting the Hummer bus, it narrowly missed a small Kia vehicle. The three vehicles are in the police station not far from our office at the Toll Gate.
“For the possible cause, we are leaving that to our Accident Investigations to establish. But it was the truck that ran into the vehicles, and the casualties were in the bus.”
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