At least 18 passengers were killed when the bus in which they were traveling lost control and somersaulted several times at a local community in Nigeria’s southeast region, according to local sources on Tuesday.

Confirming the incident with media on Tuesday, the Federal Road Safety Corps said it occurred on Monday at the Umuhu community in Ngor local government area of the southern state of Abia.

The road transport police declined to give the exact figure of casualties, saying it was still carrying out an investigation on the fatal accident.

However, local media reported at least 18 passengers in the bus were killed in the incident and blamed on overspeeding. The bus was traveling from the commercial city of Aba in Abia to Owerri, the capital of Imo, another southeastern state.

The vehicle somersaulted four times after a loud bang from one of its front tyres, said Vincent Okafor, an eyewitness.

“We suspected that the driver slammed on its break after losing a tyre on motion, while on top speed. We sadly couldn’t help the victims as the vehicle somersaulted several times before landing,” said Okafor.

He said upon landing near a large tree, the vehicle was mangled, with its passengers trapped.

The road transport police confirmed it evacuated the remains of the victims to a nearby morgue.

Deadly road accidents are frequently reported in Nigeria, often caused by overloading, bad condition of roads, and reckless driving.

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