411 views | Kenechukwu Ofomah | April 18, 2021
Awka – Fresh facts have emerged on the reported death of 17 people on board an eighteen-seater Toyota Hiace bus owned by GC Okoli Transport ventures in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Previous reports especially on National dailies and online platforms, said the bus, loaded with passengers, was swept inside a culvert at Lagos park axis of the Enugu-Onitsha express road, following Sunday night’s downpour that resulted in heavy flooding, killing seventeen out of the eighteen passengers, including the driver.
Two dead bodies were found trapped inside the bus which was also tarpped in the ditch and eye witnesses including the lawmaker representing Ogbaru Constituency One in Anambra state House of Assembly, Nobel Igwe who was at scene of the incident, had said 16 dead bodies were washed into the Niger River by the flood.
The Federal Road Safety Corps in Anambra through the Public Education Officer, Florence Edor, who spoke to TNC correspondent, had insisted that only two persons died in the mishap.
However, when contacted on Saturday, the Ekwulobia branch Manager of GC Okoli Transport Company, Mr. Felix Ezeiru, said only two people died in the bus owned by the Company, with registration number AGL 493 XR.
He explained that the ill-fated bus was dispatched from Lagos State without passengers, adding that the driver may have picked a husband and wife along the road, before the ugly incident.
While restating high premium the Company places on maintenance of vehicles, as well as safety of staff and passengers, Mr. Eziru said the Onitsha incident was a sad experience for the Company, and attributed it to poor environmental condition.
“It is a worrisome development and something government should look into. The way flood water covers roads in Onitsha especially when it rains is worrisome. Drivers find it very difficult to differentiate gutters from roads. So something needs to be done on this urgently,” he said.