It was a horrendous bloodbath, tears and sorrow in Benin-City, Edo State capital in the early hours of Tuesday as a heavy duty truck crushed nine commuters to death along Sokponba Road by Ogbelaka junction. Other persons injured in the ghastly accident, which, according to eyewitnesses, occurred around 7.30 am when a tipper loaded with sand collided with two commercial buses popularly called Tuke-tuke, were rushed to the intensive care unit of the new Specialist Hospital.
Though some eyewitness claimed to have counted nine corpses which were said to have been deposited in a morgue, the state police command insisted four persons were killed.
Tell gathered that the casualty would have been more as operators of the nearby Bureau de Change at Erie Junction, their customers, and passers-by, escaped death by the whiskers as they had to scamper for safety to avoid being run over by motorists who tried to avoid being caught in the web of the multiple accidents.
Eye witnesses, who spoke to journalists, said the tipper truck involved in the accident was trying to overtake another tipper when it lost control due to suspected brake failure and collided with the two commuter buses, killing the victims on the spot.
The accident resulted in a gridlock as the exit routes to Asoro Street, Erie and Ogbelaka were completely blocked such that commuters had to trek long distances to their destinations.
Confirming the accident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO Bello Kontongs, said four persons died in the accident.
According to Kontongs, “It involved a truck coming from Upper Sokponba that lost control and ran into a white bus killing three people on the spot while one died on the way to the hospital. The injured victims have been rushed to the hospital for treatment”.