By Moshood Adebayo, Abeokuta
It was a tragic end for 20 commutters in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, as they died in an auto crash at the Abeokuta- Siun-Sagamu Expressway. The accident involved a Hiace bus belonging to a popular transport company in the state capital and an articulated lorry.
Among the unfortunate victims was an infant of less than a year old, who was confirmed dead, while a two-year old girl, who sustained head injury, was among those rushed to the State Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, for treatment. Sunday Sun investigation reveals that the fatal accident occurred at Ototo village, few metres away from Abeokuta. The articulated lorry (Volvo tipper) with registration number LAGOS JJJ 489 XB lost control from the opposite direction and rammed into the Toyota Hiace bus with registration number Ogun XF 795 AAB, which was on the right lane . The accident occurred about 7:30 a.m. yesterday.
Passengers of the ill-fated Lagos-bound bus were said to be members of the African Church Solution camp situated at Ewang Estate in Abeokuta. They were traveling outside the state capital to attend a wedding ceremony of one of their members when the fatal incident happened. Eighteen people were said to have died on the spot, while two others died on the way to hospital. It was a gory sight when Sunday Sun visited the scene with officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), state Fire Service and the State Ambulance Services during a rescue operation. The rescue team also included the police as well as the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE) officials, who were seen evacuating the victims.
TRACE coordinator, Sola Bamidele, who was at the scene, blamed the truck driver for the accident. Bamidele told journalists that the bus left Abeokuta few minutes before the unfortunate accident, adding that his agency was trying to get in touch with the transport company to get manifest of the passengers. The coordinating officer of Ogun State Ambulances Services, Dr. Hassan Adelakun, also confirmed the unfortunate incident.
According to him, the remains of the dead had been deposited at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, as well as the Federal Medical Centre (FMC),,Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, morgues