…Fire guts petrol-laden tanker in Niger–FRSC***
Nineteen persons have been confirmed killed while eight others were injured in a Sunday auto crash at Yangoji-Gwagwalada Road in the FCT.
Mr Dauda Biu, Acting Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, confirmed the figures to the newsmen when he visited the accident scene.
Biu said the crash which occurred minutes into Sunday involved three vehicles – two Toyota Hiace buses with registration numbers MUB- 30 LG and DWR-985 XJ and an articulated vehicle.
Biu said 31 persons were involved in the accident comprising 11 males, one female and 19 others who were charred beyond recognition.
“Out of the 31 victims, eight persons comprising of seven males and one female sustained various degrees of injuries, while 19 others were burnt beyond recognition.
“Investigation showed that the main causes of the crash were speed limit violation and wrongful overtaking which eventually resulted in loss of control,’’ he said.
According to him, the Toyota Hiace bus with Registration Number MUB- 30 LG, crashed into the Citroen articulated vehicle and burst into flames, killing everyone on board.
“The second bus hit the first bus from behind and also caught fire.
The fire melted the second bus with the Bauchi State number plate.
“It was coming from Takai, Kano State while heading to Benin.
The Citroen vehicle loaded chicken feeds from Zaria in Kaduna State and was heading to Akwa Ibom.
“The nineteen corpses were trapped but extricated by rescue operatives,’’ Biu said.
He added that police had taken over the investigation and met with relevant authorities for the mass burial of 18 of the mutilated corpses.
The bodies could not be preserved for identification as they were burnt beyond recognition, he said.
“Clearing of obstructions for free flow of traffic is still ongoing as you can see and we will do our best to ensure we have a crash-free society,’’ Biu told newsmen.
“Injured victims were taken to a nearby hospital in Kwali in the FCT and one identified male corpse was deposited at the mortuary at Kwali General Hospital,’’ he said.
Biu cautioned road users to always avoid excessive speeding, wrongful overtaking and other bad driving behaviours.
He also admonished commuters to always plan their trips to fall within the daytime and avoid night trips because of hazards associated with dark hours.
He also re-emphasised that the Corps would step up both sensitisation of the motoring public and enhance its patrol activities to deter traffic violators.
He admonished the public to always call the FRSC toll-free line 122 and the National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM which were always available for all road users to report emergencies at any given time.
The newsmen report that the Acting Corps Marshal was accompanied by the management team and other rescue operatives.
In the same vein, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has confirmed two persons dead and six others injured in three separate car crashes that occurred along the Gombe by-pass towards the Pantami community on Friday.
The Corps Commander of the FRSC, Gombe State Command, Felix Theman, stated this in an interview with the newsmen on Saturday.
Theman said the suspected causes of the accidents which involved one truck, one vehicle and one motorcycle were overloading, speeding and faulty vehicles.
According to him, those that sustained various degrees of injury had been taken to health centres for medical care, while the corpses of those that died had been taken to the mortuary.
Theman stated that the areas where the crashes took place were built-up areas that were heavily populated, hence any crash had risks of causalities.
The commander said that in one of the crashes, a motorcyclist was carrying three passengers, “this is unacceptable and that’s why we have been sensitising them but some will just not listen.”
Theman said additional patrol vehicles and personnel would be deployed to those areas which had been recording series of crashes.
He cautioned motorists against speeding, overloading and using faulty cars, adding, “we must avoid whatever will lead to crashes and be careful especially now that the Ember months are here.
”Theman also cautioned residents of the by-pass and Pantami community to avoid trading close to the roads while those crossing roads were advised to always be watchful.
In the meantime, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said that a petroleum-laden tanker had been gutted by fire in Badeggi village, along Bida- Lapai road in Bida Local Government Area of Niger.
Mr Kumar Tsukwam, the state Sector Commander, told the newsmen in Minna on Sunday in Minna that the incident occurred at about 7:30 pm on Saturday.
Tsukwam said that the tanker was conveying PMS to Abuja, adding, ” while in motion, the tanker started leaking.
‘The driver parked and tried to fix the leakage, a fire from a tea shop ignited, followed the trail of the leakage and set the tanker ablaze, as well as two other articulated vehicles.”
Tsukam said that four people were involved in the incident, but they all unhurt.
He explained that the men of FRSC RS7.24 Bida, fire service personnel and other security agencies were at the scene managing the situation.
The sector commander advised drivers of articulated vehicles to always ensure the safety of their vehicles while on the roads to avoid unnecessary crashes.