From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Six persons were confirmed dead while three others were seriously injured on Thursday evening when a fully loaded water tanker lost control crushing its victims at Nza Street, Independence Layout Enugu.
An eyewitness who gave details of the incident said the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a Keke loading spot beside Bush bar, a popular joint in the area.
“The tanker which was coming from UNICEF end obviously lost its break and came crashing on the keke drivers that loads opposite the Bush Bar.
“The tanker continued moving and hit down a woman and her child, the woman died on the spot and we are suspecting that the little baby she was carrying was dragged along by the tanker because it was fully loaded.
“The tanker continued moving and ended up in the compound sharing same fence with the Bush Bar before stopping. A lot of persons are pinned down by the vehicle but we have seen four lifeless bodies. This is a very big tragedy,” he said.
The tanker driver we gathered disappeared from the scene as angry mob went in search of him.
Meanwhile the Governor of Enugu State, Chief Ifeanyi in company of the Deputy Governor, Cecilia Ezeilo quickly visited the scene of the incident before proceeding to the hospital where the injured were receiving treatment.
At the hospital, the governor pledged to pay all medical bills of the accident victims and consequently made funds available with the hospital management to ensure the patients were properly treated without any hindrance.
He condoled with the families of victims who lost their lives in the accident and thanked those who rescued the survivors and brought them to the hospital.
Confirming the incident, the police public relations officer in Enugu, Daniel Ndukwe said that the state Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Lawal has ordered the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Motor Traffic Unit of the command to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the Water Tanker, a Mercedes Benz vehicle with registration no: EDA 166 XB, which was thereafter set ablaze by an angry mob, suspectedly lost control due to brake failure, while descending the hill towards Nza Street by Bush Bar at the said location, and ran into parked tricycles.
“This resulted in the death of 6 persons whose lifeless bodies were rushed to the hospital by the Police and were confirmed dead by doctors on duty. Meanwhile, their corpses have been deposited in the mortuary for preservation; while three others who sustained injuries, were also moved to the hospital and are responding to treatment.”