Vigil disaster One dies, 15 in coma

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..as pregnant woman, 3 others are crushed to death in Aba

BY ERIC UGBOR , Aba

Abia-churchA PREGNANT   woman and three others   were crushed to death in Aba, Abia State, while fifteen others sustained   serious injuries   when   an articulated vehicle lost control last Friday   smashing over 10 vehicles, including tricycles, in the process.

In another tragic development, 15 persons collapsed   as a result   of suffocation caused by fumes from a generator during an inter-denominational fellowship at the Young Peoples Christian Fellowship located along Eziukwu, by Milverton road Aba, Abia State.

The  victims of the fellowship are said to be   all indigenes of Arochukwu Local Government Area in the state.
It was gathered that the vehicle with registration number Rivers: BER 27 XA, with the inscription, Kirby Farms, was coming from the Akwa Ibom State end of the ever busy Ikot Ekpene Road when the accident happened around 7pm.

The accident occurred when it was descending the Ogbor Hill slope, developed faulty brake system and as the driver lost control, the vehicle which was loaded with stone chippings, smashed over 10 vehicles and tricycles before veering off the other side of the road where it used two commuter buses as wedge.

Abia-church2An eye witness who narrated the incident blamed the accident on the presence of police checkpoint on the Aba River Bridge popularly known as waterside.
One of the accident victims, the pregnant woman whose husband cried uncontrollably at the scene of the incident, was said to have gone to a nearby market to buy some food items for the weekend when on her way back, she was hit by the trailer and died instantly.

It was gathered that immediately the accident occurred, policemen at the checkpoint vamoosed into thin air, leaving only the personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and passersby to battle for over four hours to bring out bodies trapped under the trailer.

Emenike Kalu, an Aba-based legal practitioner, had God to thank as eight members of his family including four kids who were involved in the accident, all came out unhurt.
When contacted, the Aba unit commander of FRSC, Akachukwu Chika, who led his men to rescue the accident victims, blamed it on the rickety nature of the truck.

Abia-church4A report has it that out of the 16 persons inside the hall of the fellowship, 15 who were in various hospitals receiving medical attention as at the time of this report are responding positively to medical attention, while a boy of 6 years, a child to one of the victims, was already dead before police could gain entrance into the scene of the incident.

11 persons were currently receiving medical attention at Austine Grace Hospitals while 4 were also admitted at Goodness and Mercies hospital at Faulks Road, Aba.

Dr. Mark Iwuagwu, a medical doctor at one of the hospitals were the victims were rushed to for immediate medical attention (Austine – Grace Hospitals located at Okigwe road) speaking to reporters at the end of the Abia State Deputy Governor’s visit to his hospital, attributed the cause of the incident to suffocation as a result of carbon mono-oxide poison they inhaled from a generator set outside the hall where the tarry night was hosted.

According to him, “When I was invited to the place by the police, the generator they used as their source of power supply was still on, but the glasses to the hall were all locked. It was police that came and opened the place with metal equipment. It was one of the victim’s brothers that alerted the police after efforts to reach his sister he said he escorted to the fellowship failed to yield any result.”

No member of the fellowship could speak to the press as at the time of the report, but the General- Secretary of pastors from Arochukwu, Dr. Phillip Richard and Senior Pastor Word Alive Assembly, Aba confirmed that the victims were all from Ututu, Arochukwu.

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