John Adams, Minna
Three different trailer accidents that occurred in different locations in Niger State in the last one week left no fewer than 15 people dead and over 40 others critically injured with goods worth hundreds of thousand of naira destroyed.
Two of the accidents occurred in Minna town, last week, when two trailers, carrying tomatoes and another one carrying cabbages, fell within two days interval at the same spot, while negotiating roundabout.
Although no life was lost in the two accidents, goods worth hundreds of thousand of naira were destroyed.
However, on Sunday, another accident involving a trailer conveying tomatoes and pepper to the southern part of the country occurred at Gbadafu village along Bida-Mokwa road, living no fewer than 15 people dead and over 40 others injured in an accident which occurred at about 5:00p.m.
According to eyewitnesses, apart from the produce the trailer was conveying, it was said to be overloaded with people who sat on makeshift seats on top of tomatoes.
It was learnt that in an attempt to negotiate a bend around Gbadafu town, a few kilometres from Bida town, the driver of the vehicle lost control, forcing the trailer to overturn and throw its content on the passengers, which resulted in their death and broken limbs of the injured.
Both the dead and the injured were rushed by good Samaritans to the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, where they are currently receiving treatment.
The morgue of the hospital was said to be congested with bodies of the dead, while the injured who could not be admitted at the emergency wards were treated on the bare floor, after the old mattresses in the stores had been retrieved for use.
As at 12 noon, yesterday, medical personnel were still battling to save the lives of some of the injured victims.
Head of Clinical Services of the hospital, Dr Adedeji Olugbenga Adekanye, confirmed that 10 dead bodies were brought to the hospital from the accident spot and were deposited at the morgue, while three others who were brought alive, were lost because of the severity of their cases.
Adekanye said the major challenge being faced in the management of the victims was “bed spaces “ at the emergency ward, adding that most of the victims were presently being attended to on the floor.
“We are coping; I don’t think we require any assistance from outside, our major problem is bed spaces,” he said.However, he said those with minor injuries had been treated and discharged.
Efforts to get reactions from officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps were abortive as their cell phones were switched off.
However, the Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Inga, when contacted, said his men had been despatched to Bida to assess the situation.