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How 9 perished in road accident in Cross River

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

Facts have emerged on how nine persons perished in a ghastly motor accident at Okurikang axis in Odukpani local government area of Cross River state, along the collapsed Calabar-Itu federal highway.

Reports say the accident, which occurred at about 9.55am last Friday, left three survivors in a critical condition while bodies of those who died at the spot were deposited at the mortuary.

A 12-seater Hiace bus belonging to AbiTrans and a Mack truck, were involved in the accident.

The Cross River Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp, Mr. Cyprian Ofordu, had confirmed that nine persons indeed died at the spot and their bodies deposited in the mortuary of an unnamed hospital while three were in critical condition.

“The three persons rescued are in critical condition as we (FRSC) were called in to rescue but what we saw at the crash site was bad,” Ofordu had said, adding, “those involved were three female adults and 9 males but the nine persons who died have been deposited at the mortuary, two females and 7 males.”

However, an eyewitness, Okon Ekpenyong blamed the bad nature of the abandoned road for the deaths.

He said ‘the government should expedite action and construct the Calabar-Itu road because the incident occurred in the process of the truck driver trying to avoid potholes that liter the highway.

“What happened was as a result of over speeding by the truck driver that left his lane and ran into a 12-seater Hiace bus that was heading towards the Akwa Ibom axis.

“I have never seen this kind of thing before. The Marco truck driver that was coming from the Akwa Ibom side empty was reckless and it suddenly crossed to the other lane and the next thing was a big bang that attracted large number of persons from the Okurikang community. I think he was trying to avoid a pothole.”

Another eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, corroborated, saying “the lane the bus driver was on was a bit better which enabled the driver to speed up a little bit only to see the truck veering off to that same lane because of the potholes.”

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