By Chukwuemerie Uduchukwu
The Federal Road Safety Commission says five people died and 17 others were injured in the multiple accident involving a tanker and five buses in Awka, the Anambra capital, on Friday.
There were reports on Friday that three persons died while 20 others were injured.
But three of those reported injured have now died, bringing the death toll to five.
According to a report on its Facebook page, the FRSC said the dead were all male adults while the injured included 10 male adults and seven female adults.
The report says one of the injured victims was taken to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, while the remaining were taken to Amaku General Hospital, Awka.
The remains of the dead were also deposited at the Amaku General Hospital Morgue, Awka.
Meanwhile, the FRSC has evacuated the vehicles involved in the accident which included a tanker (AE 729 UMA), Mitsubishi Lancer 300 bus (AAH 116 XA), Mitsubishi Lancer 300 (XK 927 UMA), Toyota Hiace bus (ATN 15 XA), Mitsubishi Lancer 300 (XG 962 GGE), Mitsubishi Lancer 300 (XD 323 JJT).
An official however told a PREMIUM TIMES reporter at the scene that casualties were far more than the numbers officially reported, saying they were instructed not to disclose the actual number of casualties in order not to heat up the polity.
The accident occurred at the UNIZIK junction along the Enugu – Onitsha Expressway at about 4:00 p.m. on Friday when the tanker, coming from Enugu, lost control due to break failure.
Other vehicles involved in the multiple-crash included three Mitsubishi L300 buses with plate numbers XD 323 JJT, XK 927 UWN and AAH 116 XA, as well as a Toyota Hiace bus, ATN 15 XA.
“The driver lost control before crashing into five stationary vehicles at the TRACAS Park at the junction,” a witness said.
According to the witness, the driver of the articulated vehicle, loaded with palm kernel oil, died instantly along with two other passengers in a bus loading at the park.