by Akan Ido
Twenty two students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka yesterday escaped death by whiskers when a bus they were being conveyed in took a tumble while trying to overtake another vehicle along Okigwe axis of the Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway.
The accident reportedly happened around 10am while the students were on their way to the burial of a colleague’s mother at Mbaitolu Ikeduru in Imo State.
According to one of the students simply identified as Delight, the accident happened when the driver of their bus was trying to avoid a pothole while moving at top speed.
Delight, who is a student of Library and Information Studies, blamed the accident on the bad portions of the road which makes smooth travel almost impossible.
Wreathing in pains, she said after somersaulting for several times “we all saw ourselves in the median of the expressway way trapped in the vehicles with the roof upside down.”
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It took the combined efforts of other commuters and sympathisers to evacuate the injured passengers out of the badly damaged bus which has the inscription of Christ Church Chapel Choir C4, UNN Campus.
Although no life was lost virtually all the passages were seriously injured, and their choir robes as well as other personal effects littered on the ground.
A crowd of sympathisers helped to get the critically injured ones to hospitals at Okigwe for medical treatment .
Some people were overheard raining curses on government for its failure to repair the Enugu/ PortHarcourt Expressway which has claimed so many lives through accidents which have become a regular occurrence on the highway.
The Federal Government said last year said it had awarded contract for the total reconstruction of the dual carriage way, but it was observed that work was still at a very slow pace by the construction firm handling the contract.
The contract was segmented and are being handled by two firms both of who are crawling particularly the one handling Umuahia /Lokpanta axis which blocked one lane around Ihube area where work has continued at snail pace since last year.