Nine persons believed to be candidates for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination, which was taken throughout the federation yesterday, lost their lives Friday morning at the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway. The nine candidates died when the commercial bus they were travelling in got involved in a fatal accident. Sunday Sun gathered that the vehicle, a Hiace commercial bus with registration number, Rivers XY 249 PHC, was travelling from Port Harcourt to Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, when it rammed into a stationary Mack Truck with registration number, Lagos XC 109 SLK.
Eyewitness said the driver of the commercial bus was on top speed when on reaching Obeku-Ihie, near Aba, he wanted to overtake, but suddenly saw another vehicle from the opposite direction and in an attempt to avoid a head-on collision he lost control, veered off the expressway and rammed into the truck parked by the roadside. He described the accident as very fatal, stressing that the occupants of the crashed vehicle looked like they were going for an examination.
Nine out of the 15 passengers inside the vehicle, including the driver and his conductor died instantly while six were seriously injured. The accident, which occurred around 9:30 am, caused heavy traffic build up on the ever busy Aba side of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway as commuters, particularly those using the Port Harcourt-Aba lane had to disembark to help the police from Ugwunagbo to rescue some passengers trapped inside the bus. Blood of the accident victims were splattered on the ground several metres away from the spot of the carnage and people wept openly as mangled bodies were brought out from the wreckage of the vehicle.
Abia State Command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Geoffrey Ogbonna, who confirmed the incident to newsmen, said the 15 passengers were believed to be going to sit for JAMB examination that took place yesterday, considering the items recovered at the scene of the accident. According to the PPRO, “the students were coming from Port Harcourt to Aba in a Hiace bus when their driver rammed into a Mack truck parked by the side of the expressway”. He said the six persons who survived the accident and were in critical conditions and immediately taken to hospital, while bodies of the dead, including the driver and his conductor, had been deposited at the mortuary.
From OKEY SAMPSON, Aba