No fewer than 22 students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka would have died on Saturday when the vehicle conveying them to a burial was involved in an auto crash. It was learnt that the auto accident occurred around the Okigwe area of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
The students were going for a burial of the mother of one of their course mates at Mbaitolu Ikeduru in Imo State when the accident happened around 10am. Speaking with correspondent at the scene of the incident, one of the victims, who identified herself simply as Delight, a second-year student of Library and Information Studies, blamed the accident on the deplorable condition of the highway. She said the driver of the bus conveying them was about overtaking another vehicle when he suddenly saw a dangerous pothole in the middle of the road, and in his attempt to dodge it, the vehicle veered off the highway and somersaulted.
�The victim added that after the vehicle somersaulted many times, �we all found ourselves in the median of the expressway, trapped in the vehicle with the roof upside down.” It took the combined efforts of other commuters and sympathisers to squeeze the victims out of the badly damaged bus which had the inscription of Christ Church Chapel Choir C4, UNN Campus. Although no life was lost, all the passages were injured, while their choir robes, as well as other personal effects, littered the ground. A crowd of sympathisers was observed helping to evacuate the critically injured ones to hospitals at Okigwe for medical treatment.
Some people were overheard raining curses on government for failure to repair the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, which they said had claimed many lives through accidents. The Federal Government in 2013 said it had awarded the contract for the total reconstruction of the dual carriage way, but it was observed that work was still at a very slow pace by the construction firms handling the contract. The contract was segmented and being handled by two firms, both of which were said to be working at a snail pace since last year. Many residents had said except something urgent was done about the highway, particularly between Okigwe and Umuahia, it might completely collapse before the end of the rainy season. –