By Lukman Olabiyi
No fewer than 16 passengers were confirmed dead, while five others sustained varying degrees of injuries during an auto crash which occurred at the Alaro City area of Epe, Lagos State, yesterday.
It was gathered that 23 male passengers were involved in the accident but two of them escaped unhurt, five were rushed to the hospital by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos Command, while 16 people died.
It was also learnt that the accident occurred at about 3am yesterday, when a commercial vehicle and an articulated truck collided and both vehicles went up in flames. Witnesses said the commercial bus and the truck were razed before rescue officials arrived at the scene to prevent further tragedy around the axis.
Confirming the tragedy, the FRSC Public Education Officer of the Command, Olabisi Sonusi, disclosed that preliminary investigations revealed that the accident occurred due to impaired visibility and reckless driving from both drivers.
Sonusi, who noted that the emergency management agencies were on ground, ensuring prompt recovery and evacuation of all crashed vehicles, added that the white bus was with number plate KTN 262YJ, while that of the articulated truck was unknown.
Through a statement made available to newsmen, the FRSC spokesperson stressed that the road had been cleared of all encumbrances that could prevent vehicular movement around the axis.
The statement reads: “The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos Sector Command, Corps Commander Olusegun Ogungbemide, therefore, advised motorists to always avoid night journeys because of impaired visibility at that hour.
“He also admonished motoring public to always observe construction signage and speed limits at such zones, just as he commiserated with the families of the deceased, while he wished the injured quick recovery.”
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, revealed that the truck was conveying sand before it collided with the commercial bus within the axis.
Meanwhile, the LASEMA boss disclosed that all the deceased passengers were handed over to their relatives for onward burial, in accordance with their faith.