No fewer than six people were feared dead, while six others were critically injured after a tipper driver rammed into roadside traders at old Ota Toll Gate in Ogun State.
It was gathered that the accident, which happened around 11am on Thursday, was caused by brake failure.
Eyewitnesses said the sand-filled tipper marked STOCKINGER STEYR and with number plate JJJ 551 XB, ran into the traders who were selling pepper, oil and bread among others.
An eyewitness said, “The incident happened around 11am. The tipper was coming from Lagos when it had a brake failure.
“As the driver struggled with the vehicle, the vehicle veered off the road and rammed into the traders.
“It was not a beautiful sight; the tipper was climbing over the women, men and children selling bread, pepper and other wares by the roadside. Those buying too were not spared.”
He said the driver of the vehicle immediately fled to avoid mob attack.
Our correspondent observed that the area was covered with blood stains, and smashed wares.
As tears flowed, the residents of the area and other sympathizers started making frantic efforts to take some of the victims to hospitals.
The police and officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Ogun State Traffic Compliance Enforcement Corps later arrived at the scene.
The FRSC Ota unit Commander, Mr. Sunday Omafu, said two people died in the incident, while seven others were critically injured.
He said one of the dead was an official of NUPENG, while the second victim was a woman buying pepper for a naming ceremony.
He said, “These two people have been identified by their relatives and taken to the Ifo General Hospital mortuary. The rest who are in critical condition have been taken to the Sango General Hospital for treatment.”
He said that the tragedy was caused by disobedience to the state’s traffic rules, adding that the corps would continue to organise sensitisation programmes for members of the public.
He said, “We have always advised that they should not be selling at the toll gate because it is dangerous. We have been driving away okada riders from the road, but they keep returning because they think you don’t want them to make money. We hope to increase our enlightenment programme because this period of the year can be challenging.”
Omafu added that the tipper had been towed to the premises of the Ota Area Command of the Nigeria Police.
The spokesman for the state police command, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, however, said three people died, while four were injured.