Five persons on Thursday morning,lost their lives in a fatal accident that occurred at the Central Bank of Nigeria ,CBN Staff Quarters’ Bus stop, along the dilapidated Enugu-Onitsha dual-carriage
expressway, Enugu .
An eyewitness who gave his name as Chukwudi ,said that the accident occurred at about 8:45am when an 18-seater bus with registration number ENUGU -XL884 ENU ran into an incoming trailer carrying bags of cement.
He said the commuter bus, which loaded from Abakpa,near Enugu, was heading to New Market when the fatal accident occurred.“The driver of the bus identified as Simeon was coming from Abakpa and made attempt to overtake another vehicle in his front that was emitting too much carbon monoxide.
“As he made attempt to overtake the vehicle, the trailer was very close and the next thing we heard was a loud sound and the bus was completely damaged. I don’t know how many survived but I counted over 8 dead bodies on the floor,” the eyewitness said.
Many who spoke on the development, attributed the avoidable crash to the poor state of the road which has forced many Motorists to ply one-way.
The police, army and Road Safety Personnel were at the scene controlling traffic and to avoid any breakdown of law.
Confirming the incident, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Enugu State, Joseph Toby, said that 5 persons died, 15 persons – 10 males and five females – were seriously injured in the accident.
He said the two vehicles involved in the crash had a head-on collision while using a single lane.
“Twenty persons were in the two commercial vehicles; the five that died were three male and two female occupants,’’ he said.
He added that the injured were taken to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu and to a private hospital on the Enugu-Awka-Onitsha Expressway.
Toby said corpses of the deceased were deposited at the Colliery Hospital mortuary in Enugu.
He blamed the accident on lack of lane discipline, over-speeding and brake failure.
Eyewitnesses, however, blamed the accident on the poor state of the road which compelled many motorists to drive against traffic rather than use the failed lane of the dual-carriage way.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, visited survivors of the crash on Thursday.
Ezeilo, who represented the state Governor , Rt. Hon.(Dr)Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on the visit and announced free medical treatment for survivors.
The accident was reportedly caused by wrongful overtaking when an 18-seater commercial bus rammed into an articulated vehicle laden with bags of cement and travelling from the opposite direction.
“Now that this administration has taken it upon itself to offset the medical bills, let nothing delay the treatment of the injured,’’ she said.
Responding, Prof. Hyacinth Onah, Chief Medical Director of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital to which some of the injured were taken, commended the governor for his prompt intervention.