By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—No fewer than 20 persons were killed on Monday in an early morning crash around Irepeni, along Abuja-Lokoja-Okene highway. About 25 cows were also killed in the incident.
Vanguard gathered that the accident was caused by a road block mounted by armed robbers along Irepeni axis of the highway. The robbers were said to have fled the scene afterwards.
An eyewitness said a luxury bus with number plates KRD 799 LC, which was heading to Abuja from Lagos, suddenly ran into the road block mounted by armed bandits.
As the bus was trying to avoid the blockade, a truck, with number plates KTN 711 YZ, loaded with cows, reportedly rammed into it, killing several people on the spot.
The eyewitness said the impact of the accident caused the truck to separate from the trailer and compressed the front section of the bus with passengers and driver inside the wreckage.
He said scores of corpses and mangled bodies of some of the victims littered the road before men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, arrived the scene to evacuate them.
He said: “About six heads were severed from their bodies. FRSC officers, police and sympathisers all combined to gather body parts into nylon bags, which were conveyed along with the corpses to the mortuary.”
Vanguard also gathered that 25 dead cows were counted at the scene of the accident, while the surviving ones were seen milling around the scene of the accident.
The accident was said to have resulted in a traffic gridlock along the highway, as motorists had to take bush paths to escape the gridlock.
When contacted, the state sector commandant of FRSC, Mr. Charles Abochi, who confirmed the accident, however put the human casualty figure at 12.