The tragic aftermath of a devastating crash involving an overloaded truck in Nigeria’s north-central state of Niger has resulted in a death toll of 25, surpassing the earlier confirmed figure of 17 by the Nigerian traffic police, a senior official said Wednesday.
The driver of the truck, laden with goods and passengers beyond its capacity, lost control of the vehicle on a busy expressway in the Magama local government area on Tuesday. The accident also left more than 200 people injured.
In an official statement, Governor Mohammed Bago of Niger said the death toll had risen to 25 while expressing his condolences and deep regret over the incident. He described the crash as “unfortunate and avoidable” and ordered a comprehensive investigation to determine the circumstances that led to the overloaded truck’s catastrophic failure.
The governor also cautioned drivers to desist from conveying passengers in such vehicles and other haulage vehicles.
Emergency workers rushed to the scene Tuesday to attend to the injured and retrieve the bodies of those who lost their lives, said Bisi Kazeem, the national spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria’s traffic police, in an earlier statement.
Kazeem said a total of 229 people were involved in the crash and attributed the incident to a speed violation, citing a preliminary investigation by the traffic police.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu also mourned the victims in a separate statement on Wednesday. He expressed his sympathies to the affected families and called for urgent measures to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
Deadly road accidents are frequently reported in Nigeria, often caused by overloading, bad road conditions, and reckless driving.