By Enyichukwu Enemanna
No fewer than 19 persons have confirmed dead while eighteen others have sustained varying injuries following an auto crash along Yangoji-Gwagwalada Road in the FCT, Abuja the nation’s capital.
Authorities of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC have confirmed the figures, saying the accident which occurred in the early hours of Sunday involved three vehicles – two Toyota Hiace buses with registration numbers MUB- 30 LG and DWR-985 XJ and an articulated vehicle, better known as trailer.
According to the Acting Corps Marshal of FRSC, Mr Dauda Biu, 31 persons were involved in the accident comprising 11 males, one female and 19 others whose bodies charred beyond recognition.
“Out of the 31 victims, eight persons comprising of seven males and one female sustained various degrees of injuries, while 19 others were burnt beyond recognition.
“Investigation showed that the main causes of the crash were speed limit violation and wrongful overtaking which eventually resulted in loss of control,’’ he said.
Biu said the Toyota Hiace bus with Registration Number MUB- 30 LG, crashed into the Citroen articulated vehicle and burst into flames, killing everyone on board.
“The second bus hit the first bus from behind and also caught fire. Fire melted the second bus with Bauchi State number plate.
“It was coming from Takai, Kano State while heading to Benin. The Citroen vehicle loaded chicken feeds from Zaria in Kaduna State and was heading to Akwa Ibom.
“The nineteen corpses were trapped but extricated by rescue operatives,’’ Biu said.
He added that police had taken over the investigation and met with relevant authorities for the mass burial of 18 of the mutilated corpses.The bodies could not be preserved for identification as they were burnt beyond recognition, he said.
“Clearing of obstructions for free flow of traffic is still on-going as you can see and we will do our best to ensure we have a crash-free society,’’ Biu said.
“Injured victims were taken to a nearby hospital in Kwali in the FCT and one identified male corpse was deposited at the mortuary at Kwali General Hospital,’’ he said.
Biu cautioned road users to always avoid excessive speeding, wrongful overtaking and other bad driving behaviours.