No fewer than 15 roadside traders were reported to have been crushed to death and scores of others injured after a truck experienced brake failure and ran over the victims in Imo State.
As gathered, the traders, who were said to have taken the advantage of Nkwommiri market to display their wares on the Anara-Orlu expressway in Nwangele Local Government Area were crushed by the truck conveying gravel on the road.
The truck, eyewitnesses narrated, skied off the road on Saturday and crushed the traders that stood beside their wares to attract commuters and other propective buyers to their stand.
It was further learnt that the victims were mostly women and that they were crushed into the nearby river while some were reported to have been trapped under the truck.
The Guild gathered that Policemen and villagers were battling to rescue those trapped under the truck and the other hit by the truck.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, stated that only two traders died and that eight others were rescued after the accident.
According to Ikeokwu, a MACK truck ladden with chippings and driven by one Kingsley Okwudili from Ebonyi to Orlu in Imo rammed into two vehicles, a bus, and a tricycle, when its brakes failed.
He said that all three vehicles fell into the nearby river while the contents of the upended truck poured on people nearby.
He said that out of the 10 rescued persons, two were confirmed dead upon arrival at the hospital while the driver was taken into custody.
“A MACK truck loaded with chippings, driven by one Kingsley Okwudili coming from Ebonyi state to Orlu, on getting to Nkwo Mmiri market, ran into two vehicles by 12:00 noon as a result of brake failure.
“The impact pushed the truck and the other two vehicles into a stream nearby. Sequel to that, operatives of the Divisional Police Headquarters in Nwangele moved to the scene and rescued 10 affected persons
“On getting to the hospital two of the victims were confirmed dead while eight others with various degrees of injury were taken in for treatment. Meanwhile, the driver has been taken into custody as an investigation has commenced,” the PPRO said.