Tragedy struck Wednesday morning in Auchi town, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State as several persons were feared dead, and many others injured after a trailer conveying cement reportedly crashed into several shops in the city centre.
The exact casualty figure is yet to be determined as of the time of filing this report but going by an eyewitness account, over five persons died in the crash as a result of the devastation caused by the trailer.
The source who gave his name as Mr Sani Aliu alias Igbelela said the vehicle was a truck belonging to BUA Cement Company convening cement and was coming from the popular Upgarage area of the polytechnic town.
According to him, it was descending the hill when it suddenly had brake failure and the driver lost control in the process.
Speaking on his mobile phone from Auchi, Sani, a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) stated that he was in the company of friends at the nearby Inu Umoru street when he heard a thunderous bang.
The politician said that he was speechless when he got to the scene of the accident which is popularly referred to as Igbo Shade, adding that the vehicle smashed into many shops, killing several persons and destroying goods worth several millions of naira.
He said that sympathizers have been battling for several hours in a desperate effort to pull out corpses from the rubbles of the collapsed buildings and under the chassis of the vehicle.
The eyewitness disclosed that several persons who were injured in the morning fatal auto crash have been rushed to different hospitals in Auchi and neighbouring Jattu for treatment and are presently battling for their lives.
Sani said: “Auchi is in deep mourning. Early this morning, the driver of a trailer conveying cement lost control as a result of brake failure and crashed into the popular Igbo Shade, killing several persons which included traders and buyers. Over five persons are feared dead and several are still trapped in the collapsed buildings. The figure will go up as some of the victims who were seriously injured may die in the hospital. The sight is gruesome.”
He added that the scene has been cordoned off by a detachment of soldiers from the NICOHO Barracks and some policemen in an attempt to maintain peace and prevent looting by hoodlums.