By John Shiklam
No fewer than 19 people have died in a fatal auto accident along the Kaduna – Abuja road.
The accident was said to have occurred late Sunday evening at the Kateri axis of the highway.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the incident yesterday in a statement, explaining that security agencies reported the accident to the state government.
The commissioner said the security report indicated that a commercial DAF trailer, which was on high speed lost control and veered off into the bush after the tyre burst.
The DAF trailer was said to be carrying 53 passengers.
According to Aruwan, “A total of 53 people were involved in the crash, 16 of these died on the spot, with three others were later confirmed dead.
“Thirty four sustained injuries, which ranged from bruises and cuts to dislocations and head injuries. They were evacuated from the scene by personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).”
The statement said those who survived the crash are receiving treatment at the hospital.
Aruwan said further that “officials of the ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs visited the site of the crash to ascertain the report of events and avoid misrepresentations of the incident.”
Aruwan also disclosed that the driver of the truck, Mr. Auwal Idris, informed him that “most of the passengers on board the ill-fated trailer were picked at Kara, by a filling station in Lagos.
He said some of the passengers were going to Zaria, while Kano was the final destination.
The commissioner said, “Governor Nasir El-Rufai expressed shock and sadness at the report, and prayed for the repose of the souls of those who perished in the crash, while sending condolences to their families.
He also wished the injured victims a speedy recovery.”
He also disclosed that the governor commended the personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps for their swift response, and prompt evacuation of the casualties from the scene.
“The governor enjoined drivers on the route to exercise caution at all times and avoid potentially dangerous driving practices like speeding.”