A speeding escort vehicle has crushed commercial tricycles on Ilorin-Old Jebba road in Kwara state, killing three people and injuring others.
Witnesses at the scene of the crash in Ilorin said three passengers from two of the tricycles died on the spot, creating chaos in the area.
Tricycle operators demonstrated at the scene, reportedly beating policemen and other uniform men on sight.
Police fired tear gas and shot sporadically to disperse the crowd.
The Kwara state sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Jonathan Owoade, who confirmed the incident, said that two tricycles and one black escort Toyota Hilux vehicle were involved in the fatal auto crash.
The FRSC boss also said that one female adult passenger of a yellow commercial tricycle died and one minor severely injured during the incident.
He said the two victims were rushed to a private hospital near the accident scene and currently undergoing treatment
“One female adult and one female child were rescued from the crash scene of the incident and taken to Olutayo hospital with our patrol vehicle while two of the road marshals were left to control traffic as gridlock was building up. The dead victim had already been evacuated before our arrival.
“Shortly before our patrol vehicle returned from hospital, a report was received that a group of tricycle riders were beating up uniform men around and policemen who came for the rescue were shooting to scare them away. The marshals on ground were instructed to leave the scene immediately.
“The angry reaction of the tricycle riders was directed at security personnel because the escort can carrying flashers that crushed the two tricycles was suspected to belong to security outfits. The rescue team could not gather other necessary information because of the tensed situation at the crash scene”, the state FRSC boss said.
But the police in a release after the incident denied the death of any of the victims.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Okasanmi Ajayi, the accident involved “A Hilux van driven by one Samuel Adeola of Hill Crest company Ajase Ipo road Offa, and three tricycles operated by Hafeez Nurudeen, Yusuf Kadiri and Hussain Seriki and two passengers, Abubakar Aliyu and Latifat Kamarudeen.
“The accident occurred when the driver of the Hilux Van and the tricycles coming from the same direction lost control and collided with the tricycles which resulted in a serious crash leading to injury of the operators”.
“The victims had already been taken to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Okeoyi, Ilorin for medical attention and are positively responding to treatment.
“None of the victims died and the vehicle involved in the accident belongs to Hillcrest Agro-Industrial Company, Offa, and not to the police or government.”