Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Tragedy struck in Edo State weekend following the death of 20 persons, a majority of whom were travelling home for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration on Friday.
The unfortunate incident, as gathered by THISDAY, occurred on Isi road, off Ugoneki/Agbor road in Uhunmwode local government area of the state.
According to a sympathiser, the accident would not have occurred, but for the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi road which is in a state of dilapidation, which prompted motorists to pass through the Isi-Ogwa-Igueben through Uromi before they can navigate back to the proper route to avoid the bad spots.
The accident, THISDAY gathered, occurred at about 6:30pm and happened when a commercial bus marked ABD 206XA on its way to Auchi, which had to pass though Isi, had a head-on collision with a truck laden with livestock coming to Benin, the state capital.
According an eye witness account, 16 passengers were said to have died on the spot, as the bus was severely wrecked, while eight other sustained varying degrees of injuries. It was it was gathered that five of the injured later died in a hospital.
A witness, who refused to be mentioned, said some of the deceased comprised a family traveling for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Confirming the incident, Edo State Sector Command, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Public Relations Officer, George Otoaviokhai, said the bus had attempted to overtake another vehicle in front of it when it rammed into the truck, marked DRZ347 XA, on the other lane.
He attributed the accident to dangerous overtaking, adding that the incident was avoidable. â€œThere was a vehicle in front of the bus; the bus was trying to overtake. That was not even needed. The accident was avoidableâ€, Atoaviokhai stated.