Sixty-six travellers, among them two policewomen, were killed and many others injured in road accidents that occurred on highways in the FCT, Borno and Kogi states.
Thirty-seven people died and several others were injured in a crash involving two 18-seater buses on the Maiduguri-Bama highway in Kondugua LGA of Borno State around 10am on Tuesday.
The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Borno State, Utten Iki Boyi, who told Daily Trust that he counted 37 corpses, said five persons died in an accident on the same road on Monday.
“As we speak I am not myself. We also lost five people to an accident on the same highway yesterday. This is so sad,” Boyi said.
17 Lagos-bound Gombe passengers burnt to death in Abuja
In another accident, 17 persons travelling from Gombe State to Lagos State in a bus were burnt to death in the early hours of Tuesday near Yaba junction along the Abuja-Lokoja Highway.
Daily Trust learnt that four other passengers sustained burns and were rushed to the Abaji General Hospital by officials of FRSC.
A witness, Kabiru Garba, said the accident happened around 5am and involved an 18-seater Toyota Hiace with registration number: GME 20 XA, and a DAF trailer with registration number: BAU 632 XA.
He said the bus was coming from Abuja -Gwagwalada axis at high speed when it rammed into the trailer from behind and went up in flames.
The FCT Sector Commander of FRSC), Samuel Ogar Ochi, attributed the accident to speed by the bus driver and poor visibility.
He disclosed that FRSC would collaborate with other security agencies and environmental officials to see how a mass burial would be carried out since the corpses were burnt beyond recognition.
Borno loses 2 policewomen in Plateau
The Borno State Police Command, in a statement, disclosed the death of two female police constables in an auto crash that left 17 others injured.
The command’s spokesman, Sani Shatambaya, on Tuesday said the accident occurred on Monday at Hawan Kibo on the Plateau-Abuja road.
He said the deceased were en route to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to represent Zone 15, comprising Borno and Yobe commands at the 2022 Biannual Police Games.
The statement reads in part: “The Commissioner of Police (CP), Borno State Command, regrets the unfortunate accident. The personnel who lost their lives and the injured victims have been conveyed back to Maiduguri.
“The CP, who led a delegation of the management team of Borno command, commiserated with the families of the deceased officers.
“He equally used the opportunity to wish the injured personnel quick recovery. He also prayed for the remaining team members that continued with their journey to participate in the ongoing police games journey mercies.”
Shatambaya added that a befitting burial had been conducted for the dead while the injured had started receiving treatment in various hospitals in Maiduguri.
5 killed, 4 injured in Kogi
In Kogi State, five persons died in a motor accident at the Oro Junction in Okene when a truck rammed into a car around 7pm on Monday.
The Sector Commander of the FRSC, Steve Dawulong, said the truck suffered brake failure and rammed into the passenger car from the rear and resulting in the death of five persons, four males and one female, with four others injured.
“The corpses were taken to Okengwe General Hospital Mortuary,” he said.
Dawulong advised fleet operators to always carry out maintenance of their vehicles before embarking on any journey.
FRSC warns motorists against speed limit violation
Meanwhile, the acting Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dauda Ali Biu, has again advised drivers against night trips and to stop violating the prescribed speed limit.
Biu, in a statement signed by the corps’ spokesman, Bisi Kazeem, urged drivers to always observe a rest period of 30 minutes after every four hours’ drive so as to avoid the danger of excessive speed and fatigue on highways.
He disclosed that there were 22 passengers involved in a crash on the Kwali-Abaji expressway, out of which 17, all males, died on the spot.
He said that the investigation revealed that the cause of the crash was excessive speed and fatigue.
By Maureen Onochie, Abubakar S. Isah (Abuja), Hamisu K. Matazu, Olatunji Omirin (Maiduguri) & Tijani Labaran (Lokoja)