From FRED ITUA, Abuja
No fewer than 18 passengers died yesterday in a road accident at about 1.00 am at Fire Academy, Sheda on the Abuja-Lokoja Road. The accident involved a Marcopolo luxury bus with registration number XG 413F GG and a J5 bus with registration number XA 726 NSR. According to eyewitnesses, the two buses, which had on board 96 passengers all together, had a head on collision.
Daily Sun gathered that the J5 bus was heading to Sokoto from Lokoja while the luxury bus was on its way to Lagos from Kano when the accident happened. It was further gathered that the J5 bus swerved off its lane and ran into the luxury bus coming from oppsite direction. Some of the survivors revealed that the driver was too tired and at some point during the journey almost dozed off.
The J5 bus recorded the highest number of casualties, while nine passengers were said to have sustained various degrees of injury. About N217, 000.00 was said to have been recovered from the J5 bus by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), which, it said, will be handed over to the victims’ relations. According to details of the crash obtained by Daily Sun, 96 passengers were involved in the crash out of which 70 were males, 16 females and 10 children comprising seven male and three female. Among the nine injured persons, two were females while all dead victims were male adults.
Thirteen of the corpses were deposited at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital mortuary while four others were taken to Kwali General Hospital’s morgue. Confirming the incident, the Corps Commander, Corps Public Education Officer of the FRSC, Jonas Agwu urged members of the public, especially those whose relations travelled through the Kano-Lagos and Lokoja-Sokoto routes to check the Kwali General Hospital and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada for identification and collection of the corpses.
He added that the injured victims were also taken to the Gwagwalada Teaching Hospital for further medical attention. Agwu said FRSC was shocked at the crash, which, he said, occurred barely few hours after the end of the 2013 Easter patrol operations and was deemed to have recorded fewer crashes compared to last year’s Easter celebration. He appealed to motorists to avoid night journeys due to the inherent dangers associated with such trips. “The FRSC assures the public of its determination to bring down road crashes by 30 per cent and fatalities by 20 per cent by the end of 2013.
“Similarly, the FRSC wishes to remind the motoring public to report any road crash to the Corps’ emergency ambulance response centres located at the old parade ground Abuja, Central Business District (opposite the Federal Secretariat, Abuja), old and new city gates Abuja, Kubwa Road; Keffi fly over, Yangoji, Sabon Wuse (Kaduna Road), Koton Karfe, Barde Junction (Kaduna), Mararaban Jama’a Roundabout (Jos) and Kugbo Market (Nyanya Abuja) or call the toll free line 122 and 070022553772 for prompt response to road crashes and any other traffic-related challenges,” he said.