Trailer loaded with campaign rice crushes 15 to death in Ekiti
By Doyin Adebusuyi, Ado Ekiti
Fifteen people including a mother, her child and a corps member lost their lives in an accident, Saturday night in a market at Iworoko, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
It was gathered that a truck conveying branded bags of rice for the political campaign of an aspirant in Ondo state suddenly lost control around 8:45 pm and veered into the market at the centre of the town killing some of the traders.
The bags of rice had the posters of a senatorial candidate of the Ondo State All Progressive Congress (APC), Tayo Alasoadura.
Three shops, including a barbing saloon where residents and students of the area were charging their cell phones. They were said to have been all trapped in the accident. Some of the victims were passengers of a commercial bus.
Some sympathisers said the the ongoing strike by the Academic Union of Universities, (ASUU), prevented more students of the EKSU from falling victim of the incident as they claimed that the market where the truck ran into used to be crowded with students when in session.
Our correspondent observed at the scene of the accident on Sunday morning, a huge crowd of sympathisers with some of them wailing while others cursed profusely.
Angered by the late arrival of a towing truck of the state’s transport office, angry mob chased its driver saying it came too late to rescue the victims. They also stoned the vehicle, forcing the driver to drive off.
But attempt to chase away the advance security team of the deputy governor was restricted by the presence of heavily armed security operatives who later came to bring the deputy governor to the scene.
Devastated Deputy Governor Bisi Egbeyemi, while speaking with chiefs and people of the community consoled with them on behalf of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
He said: “The state governor condoles with families of those who have lost dear ones. We pray for their souls to rest in peace. Government will also ensure that those who were wounded have their hospital bills paid. We will also take care of other things.”
He, however, appealed to youths in the area to calm down and not cause trouble saying “no one wishes for this kind of tragedy to happen and no amount of anger and violence will bring back those dead. So let us be calm. ”
Egbeyemi who also visited the Ekiti State University Teaching hospital along Adebayo area of the state capital, where the bodies of the dead and others wounded were taken to, told the doctors to begin urgent treatment of the wounded assuring them that the bills would be paid by the state government.
The hospital management told newsmen that 12 bodies of those who lost their lives in the accident, including students of EKSU, had been deposited in the morgue of the hospital while four wounded victims of the accident are receiving treatment in the hospital.
Credit: Daily Trust