Tragedy struck late afternoon yesterday at the popular UNIZIK interchange bustop along the Onitsha-Enugu Federal highway in Awka when a trailer fully loaded with goods rammed into three other vehicles, killing about 12 persons and injuring many others on the spot.
An eye witness and a survivor, simply named Mrs Nkiru, from Nibo in Awka South council who was just wedded about six months ago, along with her husband were among those who came out with minor injuries. She said they were returning from Enugu to Awka where they went to visit a family friend.
Amidst sobs, she said the trailer carrying diesel with registration number- Abia AE729-UMA which was also coming from the Enugu end of the expressway apparently lost control due to brake failure and therefore run into a crowd of people and other vehicles at the foot of the descent at the UNIZIK intersection.
The incident occurred at about 4pm yesterday when workers were rushing home and many students scrambling for vehicle to take them to destinations for the scheduled Joint Admissions Matriculations Board exam holding today at various centres across the nation.
Three L-300 Mitsubishi commuter buses were involved as volunteers assisted officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), police men, soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corp who battled to take the injured to different hospitals in Awka.
Victims were said to be mainly people selling different items along the park and some okada riders.
As at the time of filing this report, the FRSC Sector Commander, Hygenius Omeje was being waited for by his men who had arrived the scene but failed to give account of what transpired.
Some of them refused to talk to reporters, adding that they were unable to give correct account of what actually happened.
Students and bye-standers cried their hearts out at the scene of the accident, while vehicles heading to Onitsha were held up for hours along the express way.