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Five People Killed In Ikare Truck Accident

Five people are dead, and scores injured, including the destruction of commercial property worth millions of naira following a tragic accident of a trailer truck that lost control, and smashed into a market. The accident took place at the Front of Olukare's Palace in the Ikare Akoko area of Ondo State.

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Five people are dead, and scores injured, including the destruction of commercial property worth millions of naira following a tragic accident of a trailer truck that lost control, and smashed into a market. The accident took place at the Front of Olukare's Palace in the Ikare Akoko area of Ondo State.

More than three people among the dead are traders and were killed by a heavy duty yellow truck at the front of the market close to the Olukare palace.

Property worth millions of Naira, mostly textiles, was also destroyed as a result of the accident.

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A trader in the Market told SaharaReporters that the driver of the truck had lost control while trying to descend on the popular 'Alabojuto Hill.' This is an area, which is closed-off to the Market, and is adjacent to the king's palace at a roundabout in Ikare.

Different traders and commuters were said to have seen the truck, which was loaded with heavy granite rock moving speedily down the hill to the market. Many of the traders noticed the driver had lost control after hearing his screams. He reportedly shouted out to pedestrians and others nearby to run for their lives.

The truck first rammed into a parked white Suzuki Minibus, known as an 'Agolo.' The truck then smashed into several shops killing three people instantly. Two other seriously injured people were said to have died on their way to the hospital.

Several people, including two women and a child, were said to have lost their lives in the accident.

Some of the injured were rushed to the State Specialist hospital in Akure.

Another source told SaharaReporters that one of the victims, who was badly injured in the accident, was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo, by men from the Federal Road Safety Corps. This unidentified sixth person is currently listed in critical condition at that facility.

A member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the community, who identified his name as Jimoh, later speculated one possible cause of the carnage. He said that the loud noise of Musical Sellers at the market might have played a role. At the time of the accident, he said, the sellers were playing their music loud, which in turn prevented many shoppers from hearing the shouts that a truck had lost control.

"The situation was pathetic, and immediately we noticed that the driver of the trailer was moving fast on the downward slope of the market, which is close to the community market. We started shouting to  people to move away from their present position, (and) that a driver of a
trailer had lost control," he said.

Jimoh, who said he could not immediately confirm the number of those who died to SaharaReporters, said he believes more than three people could have died in the accident, with several other people not yet counted, seriously injured.

A SaharaReporters crew learned that the Alabojuto Hill has been a danger zone for motorists driving on the road for several years. Many people, especially indigenes of the community, have also lost lives to accidents emanating from vehicular traffic on the hill.

Many of the witnesses who spoke to us, said they have appealed and even protested to the state government to help in finding a solution to the constant accidents caused mostly by trailers on the hill.

It was also learned that the Commissioner of Police, Issac Eke, and the Commissioner of Works in the State, Engr Gboye Adegbenro, were on a special assignment to the area when they, too, were met with the accident.

They spoke with and consoled with the people over the tragic loss with an assurance to deliver their message to the Governor on the need to visit the hill, and to find a fast solution to the constant threat of fatal accidents.

SaharaReporters learned that the people who shop at the market, including traders, had been warned to leave the main road, and stop trading goods beside the road.

They had clamored for a market, and the State government had built a market, but many of them were said to have remained stubborn and most do not want trade at the market because of its distance from the town.

Police say the tragic accident remains under investigation at press time.