AT LEAST 22 persons were confirmed to have died on Sunday in separate auto crashes in Umuahia, the Abia State capital and Bauchi state.
15 lives were reportedly lost in the accident that occurred at Nkpa Junction, Ofeme in Umuahia North Council Area on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Express road, while the accident that occurred at Umugbalu in Ikwuano Council Area of Abia State claimed three lives.
An FRSC official, who was part of the rescue team at the scene, said on the condition of anonymity, that the incident happened between 11a.m. and noon at the Ofeme Junction on the expressway.
He said that the accident involved a MAN-Diesel Truck, with number plates Plateau JJN 782 XB, and an 18-seater Hiace passenger bus, with number plates Abakiliki AKL 895 YA.
He said that 13 passengers in the bus died on the spot, while two others sustained serious injuries.
The deceased included nine men, three women and a little girl.
He said that the truck lost control before crashing into the oncoming bus on the same lane of the dual carriageway.
He said that the bus was travelling from Aba to Enugu, when the accident happened.
The Abia Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mrs Stella Uchegbu, disclosed yesterday that the driver of the truck absconded after the accident.
Similarly, the Bauchi State Police Command also disclosed yesterday that four persons died in an auto crash on the Jos – Bauchi Road on Sunday.
Haruna Mohammed, the command’s Public Relations Officer, in a statement in Bauchi, said that the accident followed a head on collision between a commercial vehicle and Opel Vectra car.
Mohammed gave the particulars of the vehicles as Opel Vectra, number plates TRR 744 BAU and a Volkswagen Sharon with number plates ALK 238 XA.
He explained that the accident occurred at Tashan Durumi on the Bauchi – Jos highway.