22 die in Anambra truck accident
No fewer than 22 persons including five masquerades were crushed to dead in a truck accident in Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The accident occurred at about 7.30pm on Sunday.
The truck, it was gathered, lost control as a result of brake failure and rammed into a crowd of indigenes of the area, who were celebrating this yearâ€™s New Yam Festival.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Ali Okechukwu, confirmed 11 dead and 21 injured in the crash.
Okechukwu said the dead bodies had been deposited in nearby morgue while the injured persons had been taken to hospitals for treatment.
But an eyewitness told our correspondent that 17 persons and five masquerades died in the accident on Sunday night when the crash occurred.
The spokesperson for the community, Mr. Celestine Ekwem, told our correspondent that â€˜the 911 Mercedes lorry lost its brake while descending a slope and rammed into a heavy crowd of people who were celebrating the New Yam Festival.
â€œWe have now suspended every celebration because of this disaster.
â€œWe donâ€™t know whether the gods are angry with us or not, but we feel that there is no need continuing with the festival with this kind of human and material carnage,â€ he said.
Ekwem said over three buses, fully loaded with passengers, were mangled in the process.
â€œIt was just an orgy of human carnages. Our traditional ruler, Igwe Ezechukwu, had ordered everybody to go into sombre mood for this calamity befalling our community.â€
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, visited the community in the early hours of the accident. The governor promised to take care of the hospital bills of all the injured in the accident.
He also assured that government would take care of the families of the deceased.
He commiserated with the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Goddy Ezechukwu, and the people on the loss.
The governor assured the community that he would start palliative work on the Umuchu-Umunze road to avert recurrence.
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