Tragedy struck in Bauchi State on Wednesday when no fewer than eight people were killed in two separate fatal crashes.
Seventy others were said to have sustained varying degrees of injury in the accidents.
Our correspondent gathered that six people were killed in the first accident, involving 72 traders who were travelling in a truck from the Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi to Dukku Market in Gombe State.
The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Bauchi State, Assistant Corp Commander Yusuf Abdullahi, confirmed the accident to our correspondent during a telephone interview.
Abdullahi said, “Yes, there was a lone fatal accident today, March 17, 2021, around 9.10am on Km 15, Kwannan Dallol, Darazon-Dukku Road.
“The accident involved 72 people, all males, who were in a commercial Mercedes Benz 911 truck, with number plate, AA476MSA, driven by one Alhaji Sai’du Misau, going to Dukku Market.
“The truck skidded off the road and threw the people away. Six of them were killed, while 54 others sustained varying degrees of injury. It took us hours to carry out the rescue operation. The probable cause of the crash is dangerous overtaking.”
He said the victims were conveyed to the General Hospital, Darazo, for medical attention, while the six dead bodies were deposited in a mortuary pending when they would be released to their families for burial.
Abdullahi urged drivers to use their vehicles for the purposes they were designed.
Our correspondent learnt that the second accident, which happened around 10.50am on Wednesday at Dungulbi village, along Bauchi-Gombe Road, two female adults, including a nursing mother, were killed.
PUNCH Metro learnt that several people who sustained varying degrees of injury were rushed to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital for treatment.
The accident involved a Toyota Hummer bus belonging to the National Tourism Development Commission, which had a head-on collision with a Sharon commercial bus conveying passengers to Gombe.
FRSC officials, policemen attached to the Rapid Response Squad of the Bauchi State Command and villagers were said to have participated in the rescue operation.
Our correspondent gathered that the NTDC staff members, who were travelling in the Hummer bus, were returning to Abuja after spending some days at the Yankari Game Reserve and Safari on an official assignment.
It was gathered that the crash occurred when the Hummer bus, in the process of overtaking a heavy duty truck, had a head-on collision with the oncoming Sharon commercial bus, which few minutes before loaded passengers in Bauchi and was heading for Gombe.
The FRSC sector commander said the accident was caused by “wrongful overtaking.”
Abdullahi noted that the victims and the corpses were taken to the ATBU Teaching Hospital for treatment and confirmation, respectively.
He said, “The accident involved two vehicles, a government Toyota Hummer bus, with the number plate, FG25C04, and a commercial Ford car, with number plate, KTG 808 TT.
“A total of 18 people were involved, comprising 11 male adults, five female adults, one male child and one female child.
“A medical doctor confirmed two female adults dead, while the remaining 16 people are receiving treatment in the same hospital.”