Scores of motorists were on Tuesday feared dead when a 40-feet container fell off a truck and crushed a Sports Utility Vehicle, Sienna, and tricycle in Aba, the commercial centre of Abia State.
A witness who said this happened at Ahia Udele market, Ogbor Hill, Aba, about 10 am on Tuesday, stated that many people were trapped under the container as of the time of filing this report.
The witness said, “An accident occurred at Waterside Bridge, Ogbor Hill, Aba, Abia State as 40ft container fell on top of a SUV and Keke this morning, casualties were yet to be known and identified.”
The truck was said to have lost control and tumbled, while its 40-feet container fell on top of vehicles including a keke, an SUV and a Sienna bus coming from Arochukwu to Aba, and some that were trekking on foot, all trapped under the container.
“The accident was caused by a trailer that was carrying a container, but experienced a brake failure and subsequently rammed into the roadside market, allegedly killing scores of people, while many remained trapped under the fallen container,” another witness said.
Reports said that for over 40 minutes after the accident, there was no help whatsoever, except the efforts of residents until men of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Home Land Security as well as some security agencies who came in to assist.
A survivor whose name could not be immediately ascertained said, “Who could have believed that God would be merciful to me? Who could have believed that heaven would smile at me? Who could have believed that God would be gracious to me? I know where I am coming from. I know what I am talking about.
“Thank you, God, for saving me this morning. Friends and family, help me thank God for I am one of the people who were saved from this accident that happened at Waterside, Aba. So many people died, cars and keke were damaged, some were injured, but I am safe and sound.”
This time last year, a similar accident happened at the same area, the witness said.
On his Facebook account, one Gabriel Onyedikachi Victor wrote, “My people, join me thank God. My cousin was involved in the accident that happened at Waterside, Aba, Abia State, this morning which took over 28 lives.
“Luckily for us, he was the only person who survived in their own keke as he was able to jump out of the keke in-between two other passengers at the back, where he was sitting in their middle but God pushed him out. But how God did it, we don’t know.”
An unconfirmed account gave the number of deaths as 30.
Efforts to get the state police command for its comments proved abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Maureen Chinaka, did not pick the calls put across to her as of the time of writing this report.