From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
About 13 persons including a child have been feared killed in a fatal accident that took place along the Okija axis of the Onitsha – Owerri Expressway in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
It was not clear what caused the fatal crash and how, but voices in a video of the accident heaped blame on the policemen operating in that area whom they accused of obstructing free flow of traffic in that sloped area of the expressway.
Meanwhile, the casualty figure has been faulted by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state which said that only four persons died against the eyewitnesses’ 13.
One of the voices in the video lamented thus: “Just imagine what the police officers have caused here. All these people died because of what the police have caused.
“We have taken over 11 people to the mortuary. Look at blood everywhere. Policemen were obstructing free flow of traffic here. And this place is not level. This accident just killed more than 13 people now.
“We have rushed some to the hospital. Even little children were involved. Just imagine. Over 13 persons died here. Look at dead bodies. Some have been rushed to the mortuary. Look at what the police have caused”, he lamented.
FRSC, in a statement, said that three vehicles were involved in the fatal crash which it said occurred at 15:06.
It listed the vehicles as Nissan caravan (a white coloured commercial bus) with registration number AAH-836-ZV, another whitish, commercial Nissan caravan with number AWK-278-YD and a truck (Mack) with no registration number.
FRSC said that 16 people were involved in the road crash: seven male adults, seven female adults, one male child and one female child. It said that two male adults, one female adult and one male child lost their lives while 12 were injured.
While guessing the cause of the accident, FRSC said that it suspected excessive speeding and brake failure. It quoted an eyewitness in its statement as saying that “the driver of the trailer sighted the police checkpoint, matched his brake which failed him and he rammed onto the two buses being checked by the policemen in front of him as a result of brake failure.”
“The injured persons were taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Ihiala for treatment while the corpses were deposited in the mortuary of the same hospital by the FRSC rescue team and obstruction cleared. Free vehicular movements have been restored by the FRSC rescue team, police and the military men”, the statement partly read.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, said that he would react to the allegations against the police after watching the video; and maybe, reading the FRSC’s statement.