7 persons were crushed to death at the Upper Iweka axis in Onitsha when a petrol tanker, a truck belonging to Dangote Group and another carrying 40 feet container crashed in the city.
Saturday Sun gathered that the first tanker lorry with registration number, XG 613 AKR had failed brake opposite the Toronto hospital along Onitsha-Asaba Expressway, crushing people especially motorists along the ever busy Upper Iweka area.
However as the men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC were still busy evacuating the bodies, a trailer lorry carrying a 40 feet container with registration number XA353 GGU and another trailer carrying Dangote Cement also had failed brakes and crushed other road users.
The first incident claimed the lives of two men and a woman who were on their way home after the day’s job while the second and third incidents claimed the lives of a commercial motorcyclist and his passengers whose bodies were mauled beyond recognition.
Narrating his experience, a survivor of the second accident in a vehicle with registration number DL486ENU who pleaded anonymity said his escape was miraculous since the trailers lost brakes and were busy crushing their victims from the Toronto hospital to the foot of the Upper Iweka fly-over.
I was coming back from my office, am a lawyer, when I got to Upper Iweka, I saw a terrible traffic gridlock, I was told that a tanker lorry failed brake and crushed people at the area.
I also noticed that vehicles were parked along the road, suddenly as I was still at the traffic gridlock, I heard frightening sound, before I could know what was happening, two trailers carrying container and cement had lost brakes and started crushing people.
I could not jump out of my car because I was like a person glued until I heard a great bang and I thought I was dead, it was people that came and brought me out, but up till now, I can’t really say what happened to me but everybody that saw me come out of the car told me to thank my God”.
Another eyewitness who gave his name as Dozie Okonkwo, a bus conductor said that the only woman that died in the incident was a daily money collector who had closed for the day and was on her way back to her home at Old Road, Onitsha.
“She came to enter our bus, I told her that the price was N70, she jumped out because she wanted a cheaper one.
Not quite long, the incident happened. When we rushed there, she was already crushed, her body was already crushed, it was only her cloth that some people used to recognize her, her flesh was scattered all over the place.
However the first tanker lorry was said to be coming from a filling station where it had dispensed its product in the commercial city of Onitsha and was on its way to Port Harcourt when the driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle, skidded off the road and crushed people.
The Onitsha Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Mr. Anthony Meta could not comment on the incident as he refused to pick his calls. An officer who did not want his name in print confirmed the incident and said he personally led his team to deposit the bodies of the victims in the mortuary and took the injured persons to Toronto Hospital for medical attention.