Tragedy struck in Kaduna on Sunday as 15 persons, including six national women leaders of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ, perished in an auto accident in the state.
The accidents occurred at two different spots.
The Federal Road Safety Corps’ Sector Head of Operations, Kaduna, Mr. Salish Umar Galadunci, confirmed the incidents.
He, however, could not say whether the women leaders were part of the accident which occurred along Kajuru Junction, Maraba Rido Kachia Road, in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
A source told our correspondent that five high-ranking women lost their lives along with the driver of the bus conveying them from Kebbi State after attending the inauguration of the church in the state.
In his account, the source said the wife of a former ERCC Secretary General and Vice Chairman, Sanga Local Government Area in Kaduna State, Mrs. lydia Nuhu Idzi, was among the women that died in the accident.
While confirming the incident, the FRSC official said, “On 14/5/17 at about 1630hrs at Kajuru Junction, Maraba Rido Kachi Road, two vehicles moving in the same direction collided and caught fire with 18 persons inside.”
Galadunci explained that the vehicles were trying to dodge a motorcyclist who was crossing the road when it collided with another oncoming car and immediately went up in flames, roasting about 13 of the 18 persons in a Toyota Hummer bus with number plate, AkW 60 XA.
He said, “The first vehicle in the front, which was on speed, tried to avoid the Okada but instead ran into a ditch by the roadside and the other vehicle following also rammed into the bus in front and there was fire.
“The two vehicles are a Toyota bus with number plate, AKW 60 XA; and a Toyota Starlet, with number plate, AA 379 FNN. Eighteen persons were involved; five persons were injured; 12 died, including two adult males and 10 adult females.”
He added that the remains of the deceased had been deposited at the mortuary of St. Gerard Catholic Hospital in the state capital.
Meanwhile, Galadunci said in another rescue operation carried out by the men of the sector command, another accident, claiming three lives, occurred along the Mazuga Village, 10 kilometres away from Kachia-Kafanchan Road on Saturday.
The FRSC official said items recovered from one of the vehicles included five locally-made AK47 rifles and a magazine.
He said, “In another development, on Saturday, May 12, at Mazuga Village, 10 kilometres from Kachia – Kafanchan Road, another accident happened involving two vehicles , an Audi Salon car, with number plate AG 601 MKR and an Opel Vectra with no registration number.
“This happened at about 16.07hrs. Our men quickly rushed to the place and found out that some good Samaritans had already started bringing the victims out of the damaged vehicles. Seven persons were involved, three persons died, while four persons were injured.
“In addition, five locally-made AK47 rifles and a magazine were found in the Audi Salon car, whose driver, Mr. Sabo Goni, was still alive but injured. The police at Kachia were quickly alerted.
“The recovered arms were handed over to the DPO, Kachia Division for further investigation.”