December 28, 2022

BIKERS CARNIVAL: Pregnant woman, 6 others feared killed

Carnival Calabar


•30 injured,4 in Navy hospital, 3 in UCTH —HASSAN

•Gov Ayade sympathises with families of victims

By Ike Uchechukwu, CALABAR

No fewer than seven persons, among them a pregnant woman, have been killed while about 20 others were injured and in critical condition during the Bikers carnival, an integral event of the Carnival Calabar 2022.

Eyewitness told Vanguard that no fewer than 30 persons were affected by the tragedy as many have been rushed to General Hospital, Mary Slessor, while others were taken to Navy Reference Hospital on the Muritala Mohammed Highway, Calabar.

Although what actually led to the accident as press time was still sketchy, but several eyewitnesses told Vanguard that a Toyota Camry lost control and rammed into crowd of on lookers.

The Camry with registration number DUK 505 PE, according to multiple sources was not part of those on the usual procession.

When Vanguard visited the scene of the accident, bodies of the victims were being evacuated while those who died on the spot were taken to the morgue.

Security agencies, including Nigerian Army, Police, and Civil Defense amongst others were at the scene to calm the situation.

Confirming the accident, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, last night, said that only seven persons have so far died while 29 others were  injured in the tragic incident,  which  occurred during the Bikers parade, an intergral part of the annual Calabar Carnival held on Tuesday.

Sector Commander of the Corps, Maikano Hassan, confirmed the incident.

The accident Vanguard learned occurred in front of Mosque in Bogobiri along Mary Slessor during the Bikers Carnival.

The Sector Commander disclosed that the number of injured involved in the accident were 21 male adults, three women, two male children and three female children.

He said that the injured were rushed to Naval hospital and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, General Hospital for medical attention.

Speaking further, he said that the remains of the dead had been deposited in morgues of two hospitals in Calabar.

He said: “The incident occurred when a Toyota Camry car lost control and rammed into crowd of onlookers during the carnival.

“While the injured are receiving treatment, those who died have been deposited in the morgue of the Naval hospital and the University of Calabar Teaching hospital,” he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State, has condoled  with families of those who lost their lives and promised to bring to book the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident.

Ayade expressed sadness over the ugly incident where an errant motorist rammed into a crowd that thronged the Carnival route to watch the bikers parade.

A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita said Governor Ayade was devasted by the incident and had directed security agencies to apprehend the motorist who is on the run.

While sympathising with the victims of the accident and their families, the governor, according to the statement, ordered an immediate investigation to unravel how the motorist was able to get through security barricades to have access to the routes which were closed to the public.

Ita said the governor directed the immediate discontinuation of the Bikers parade in honour of the victims of the accident.

Ayade while promising to ensure the culprit was arrested and brought to book, sued for calm.