It was new year tragedy in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital yesterday, as 12 persons, including a pregnant woman identified as Funmilayo, were crushed to death in an auto crash at the new Gbagi International Market on Ife-Ibadan Expressway.
An eyewitness said over 10 others sustained various degrees of injuries in the crash that was said to have occurred at about 11:40pm, few minutes into the New Year.
Blueprint gathered that a trailer, said to be coming from Iwo road axis of Ibadan, lost control and rammed into some commercial buses and cars by the entrance of the market and instantly crushed the 12 persons to death.
The source further stated that many of the persons killed in the accident were mostly heading to churches for the crossover night service at Iyana-Agbala and Egbeda areas of Ibadan metropolis.
He said, following the auto crash, many of those heading for the crossover night in most of the churches in the area, were stranded for hours with some rushing back home.
Oyo state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Adekunle Ajisebutu, however, gave the number of casualties in the auto crash as 11, while the report from the office of the Federal Road Safety Corps Sector Commander, Mrs. Cecilia Alao, confirmed 12 persons dead as a result of the incident, saying their corpses had since been deposited at the morgue of the state Specialist Hospital, Adeoyo.
The FRSC Sector Commander stated that, aside from nine who died on the spot, three others died yesterday morning among the injured victims who were conveyed to Toun Specialist Hospital, Iwo Road area for medical attention.
The FRSC statement on the accident entitled; Road Traffic Crash Report, signed by the Corps Commander, said: “As at the time of conclusion of rescue operations, nine (9) victims were confirmed dead and their corpses deposited at the morgue of Oyo state Specialist Hospital, Adeoyo while Ten (10) injured victims were conveyed to Toun Specialist Hospital, Iwo Road area for medical attention.”
The statement added that, “subsequent hospital follow-up conducted by the Command on Tuesday 1st January, 2019 suggests that an additional 3 victims have also died making the total fatality figure twelve (12), consisting of 8 male adults, 3 female adults and 1 male child, while 7 injured victims made up of 2 male adults and 5 female adults are still on admission receiving treatment.
“Preliminary investigation suggests that brake failure resulting in loss of control is the causative factor of the road traffic crash.
“Meanwhile, road obstruction caused by the multiple crash was duly cleared by FRSC personnel at about 02:14am on 1st January, 2019 thereby ensuring sustenance of smooth traffic flow.”