No fewer than 19 persons, including an infant and three children, have been killed in a fatal road accident at Igoneki in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State.
The incident was said to have occurred on Isi road, off the Benin-Agbor road at about 5 pm on Thursday.
It was gathered that tragedy struck when a commercial bus, marked ABD 206XA and en route to Auchi, had a head-on collision with a truck laden with livestock to Benin, the state capital.
Sixteen passengers were said to have died on the spot, as the bus was severely wrecked, while eight other sustained varying degrees of injuries.
It was, however, learnt that three of them later died in a hospital.
A source in the area, who did not want to be mentioned, said that some of the deceased comprised a family travelling for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
The state police command could not be reached for comments as calls put across to the telephone line of the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Moses Nkombe, went unanswered.
Nkombe, who had vowed not to speak with the PUNCH newspapers as long as he remained the PRO, had yet to respond to a text message sent to his telephone number.
But the spokesman for the Edo Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. George Otoaviokhai, confirmed the incident to our correspondent on Friday.
Otoaviokhai explained bus had attempted to overtake another vehicle in front of it when it rammed into the truck, marked DRZ347 XA, on the other lane.
He attributed the accident to dangerous overtaking, adding that the incident was avoidable.
Otoaviokhai explained, “There was a vehicle in front of the bus; the bus was trying to overtake. That was not even needed. The accident was avoidable.He (bus driver) miscalculated (because) the truck from on its own lane.
“So when he veered off his own track, he just rammed head-on with the truck. It was a fatal crash. I think the bus was heading for Auchi.”
He, however, noted that the injured and remains of the deceased were taken to Aigbogun Clinic in Abudu, in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state.