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15 killed, 40 injured as trailer skids off road in Niger

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Fifteen people were killed and 40 others injured on Sunday night after a trailer driver lost control of his wheel and skidded off the Bida-Mokwa road in Niger State.

The driver was conveying tomatoes and pepper to the southern part of the country and had too many passengers.

The driver, while trying to negotiate a bend around Gbadafu Town, a few kilometers from Bida Town, lost control of the trailer. At least 15 among the passengers died, while many of those that survived had broken limbs.

Both the dead and injured were rushed by Good Samaritans to the Federal Medical Centre, Bida.

According to eyewitnesses, apart from the produce, the trailer was also overloaded with people numbering over 60, who sat on makeshift seats on top of the tomatoes. Further findings alleged that the morgue of the hospital was congested, while the injured, who couldn’t be admitted at the emergency wards, were treated on the bare floor.

As at 1p.m. on Monday, medical personnel were still battling to save the lives of some of the injured victims. One of the eyewitnesses said that two other persons, who were indigenes also died and had been buried according to Islamic rites in Bida.

The Head of Clinical Services of the Hospital, Dr. Adedeji Adekanye, confirmed that 10 dead bodies were brought to the hospital from the accident spot, and deposited at the morgue.

He added that three others, who were brought alive, were lost because of the severity of their cases. Adekanye added: “The major challenge being faced in the management of the victims is bed space at the emergency ward. Most of the victims are presently being attended to on the floor.

We’re coping and I don’t think we require any assistance from outside. But our major problem is bed space.” He said that those with minor injuries have been treated and discharged.

The Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Ibrahim Inga, said his men had been sent to Bida to assess the situation.

All efforts to reach officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for comments proved abortive as the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Habibu Raji did not pick his calls.

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