Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has confirmed that 15 persons died while 38 others sustained injuries when a white Mitsubishi truck with registration number XE331MKA veered off the road and crashed into the dried Omi River along the Ibadan/Ijebu-Ode road yesterday morning.
The accident occurred at the Omi River, Ajegunle bridge along the Ibadan/Ijebu-Ode highway in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The FRSC, in a statement by its Superintendent Route Commander, Mrs. Florence Okpe, said all the corpses recovered were those of male adults crammed into the mini-cantre truck, all of whom had been evacuated to Sabo in Ijebu-Ode, where the leaders of the Hausa community, the Sarki Hausawa, were making arrangements with the police to give them a mass burial.
The Sector Commander of the FRSC, Ogun State Command, Mr. Clement Oladele, said the truck was travelling from Sokoto and was overloaded with passengers.
“Rescue operatives led by the FRSC unit commander, Ijebu-Ode and the FRSC rescue operators from the FRSC Ago-Iwoye outpost command, were quickly mobilised to the scene. Rescue operation is still ongoing. However, 15 corpses, all male adults, of the passengers crammed in the truck, have been recovered from the Omi-River underbridge. “So far, thirty-eight passengers in the truck sustained varying degrees of injuries and were taken to the state hospital Ijebu Ode for treatment.
“The corpses of the dead victims have been evacuated to Sabo in Ijebu-Ode with the Sarki Hausawa (Hausa community leader) making arrangements with the police for the mass burial of the dead victims.”
The sector commander also advised families of the victims to contact the FRSC command in Ago-Iwoye or Ijebu-ode, both in Ogun State, for details of the dead victims.
Oladele said the “suspected cause of the crash is fatigue as the vehicle veered off the road and crashed into the dried Omi River along the Ibadan/Ijebu-Ode road”.
According to him, the Omi River bridge does not have safety railings, but rescue operation was made easier because the river had dried up.
The sector commander commiserated with the victims and advised passengers to desist from boarding vehicles designed only for goods.
He said by the configuration of vehicles designed only for good, such vehicles are not made to carry passengers but goods only.