Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
UPDATE: (see original article below)
The trailer tragedy that occurred on Saturday night in a market in Iworoko, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, has claimed 15 lives, residents in the area claim.
Daily Sun learnt that the truck suddenly lost control at about 8:45pm Saturday night and rammed into a market at the centre of the town. In the ensuing tragedy, it crushed three shops and a commercial small bus with some passengers. One of the shops, a barbing saloon, had residents and students charging their cell phones inside it. They were all trapped in the accident.
Among the 15 persons said to have died are students of the Ekiti State University, a corps member , residents, traders in the area and a mother and child.
The ongoing strike action by the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) is said to have prevented many more students of the EKSU from falling victim of the tragic incident, as the market scene of accident is regularly crowded with students when school is in session.
When Daily Sun visited the accident site Sunday morning, sympathisers had crowded the scene, with some wailing and others are cursing profusely.
The trailer had crushed a small commercial vehicle, locally called ‘Akoto’. Bags of rice , some of which had posters of a senatorial candidate of the Ondo State All Progressive Congress (APC), Tayo Alasoadura, were spread all over the ground.
The angry mob chased away a towing truck of the state’s transport office, saying that it had come too late to rescue the victims. They stoned the vehicle, forcing the driver to drive off.
The irate crowd also made attempts to chase off an advance security team of the deputy governor but were intimidated by the presence of armed security operatives who later brought the deputy governor to the scene.
Speaking with local chiefs and angry youths of the community, Deputy governor Bisi Egbeyemi, representing state governor Kayode Fayemi said: “The state governor condoles with families of those who have list dear ones. We pray for their souls to rest on peace. Government will also ensure that those who were wounded have their hospital bills paid for. We will also take care of other things. However, we appeal to our youths to calm down and not cause trouble. No one wishes for this kind of tragedy to happen. And no amount of anger and violence will bring back those dead. So let us be calm,” the deputy governor appealed.
Egbeyemi, who also visited the Ekiti State University Teaching hospital, along the Adebayo area of the state capital, where the bodies of the dead and wounded are interred, told the doctors to begin urgent treatment of the wounded, assuring them that medical bills would be paid by the state government.
The hospital management told newsmen that 12 bodies of those who lost their lives in the accident, including students of EKSU, have been deposited at the state morgue, while four wounded victims are receiving treatment.
Several people are feared dead as a trailer truck allegedly ran off the road and into a busy market at Iworoko in Ekiti State.
Daily Sun learnt that four bodies have been retrieved from the accident scene while various traffic officials in the state are still struggling to rescue trapped people.
A loaded commercial mini bus, popularly called “Akoto”, is among the vehicles crushed by the trailer.