Tragedy struck in the early hours of today, Tuesday, as a fatal accident occurred that occurred at Aba River Bridge, Ogbor-Hill, Aba, Abia State, claiming the lives of four persons at the scene, with many others critically injured.
Our correspondent who visited the scene of the incident reports that the accident occurred when a trailer conveying a 40-feet container, descending from Ogbor-Hill, lost control after break failure and collided with two vehicles at the top of the Aba River Bridge.
According to reports, Aba River popularly known as Waterside Bridge has been a scene of a serious accident, a horrible situation which resulted in the relocation of the biggest abattoir in Abia State -Ahia-Udele.
According to eyewitness accounts, the victims met their death when the trailer, while descending from Opobo-Junction along Aba Ikot-Ekepe Highway, swerved uncontrollably, regrettably collided with a Siena and another stationary vehicle which it fell on, all in its bid to avert hitting a certain spoilt immobile trailer parked atop the bridge.
Efforts to reach men of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) met at the scene of the accident proved abortive as they quickly moved away from the scene when the anger of the Aba public was growing following the failure to bring a crane to lift the container to rescue victims trapped under the container.
Our correspondent equally gathered that two to three hours after the accident, there was no towing van or crane present at the scene of the accident to remove the container which fell on a Siena Van.
Mr Ikenna Nzekwe, an eyewitness said that he is still surprised that both the Abia State government and the Federal Government have not thought it wise to construct a flyover across the bridge to decongest traffic from Uyo, Ikot-Ekepe into the commercial city of Aba.
“I’m not blaming anybody but since you’re a journalist, please take this message to the authorities. We need a final solution to the reoccurring accident on this bridge.
“This thing happened two years ago, it happened three years ago, it equally happened before the market was relocated, is it not obvious that this hill is too dangerous for a straight road? How can we continue to allow our people to die like this?
“When will the government understand that these heavy-duty vehicles shouldn’t be on the road in the daytime? When will government agencies learn to remove spoilt vehicles on the road to save lives? These are issues we should be focusing on.”
Mr Anayo Ihueze said, “This is a preventable accident, but see how it went. There’s no single rescue effort. All those rescued were pulled out by concerned Aba residents who came together to save lives.
“I was part of the committed citizens that rescued three parents hear today, one with her legs completely damaged, one seriously injured and the other unhurt. In all these, we only saw the Fire Service who didn’t have much role.
“The soldiers and police seem to be interested in the security maintenance of law and order and securing goods inside the container. The FRSC came with nothing except their Hilux. What kind of a country is this?
Meanwhile, while some other residents were rescuing trapped persons, some hoodlums tried to steal some of the imported fairly used clothes inside the container but were confronted by brave residents who resisted and intercepted them.
Some other residents who tried to weep up sentiments to use violence to set the trailer conveying the container ablaze for killing people were equally confronted and defeated with superior argument that the trailer conveying the container is not the problem and that the current situation is not the first time for such incident.
Sequel to the ugly development, authorities have advised commuters to use alternative routes.