By Ahmed Ajikobi
Shop owners and passers-by at Asa-Dam area, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Friday scampered to safety as a water tanker lost control following a brake failure.
According to an eyewitness, the tanker with registration no; Osun XA 132 KNR, was coming from Aiyetoro area when the incident happened around 12:30 pm as the driver lost control, hitting a tricycle and leaving two passengers seriously injured.
The victims were said to have been rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention even as the driver took to his heels for fear of being lynched by bystanders.
There was traffic gridlock in the area until the arrival of officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and policemen at the scene of the accident.
Speaking with National Pilot, some shop owners at Egbejila junction off Asa-Dam road, condemned the tanker owner and driver for the poor condition of the vehicle.
Reacting to the incident, the Treasurer, Keke NAPEP Union, Egbejila, Taiye Sebotimo said most tanker drivers in the metropolis are reckless in their driving. He called on law enforcement agents to ensure consistent arrest of reckless tanker drivers in the state to forestall calamity.
Another shop owner who simply identified himself as Ibrahim blamed Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) for not living up to their responsibilities.
“For me, I don’t know the work of the VIO, they should be checking these tankers and tippers. Most of the tankers lack functioning clutch and brake.”
He further called for speed breakers in the area to checkmate reckless drivers from inflicting further havoc.
“After the occurrence, we thought the victims had given up the ghost but for Mama Ganiyat, who gave the people sachet (pure) water to pour on them.
“Even the driver had disappeared without any trace but he later returned probably after getting wind that the victims were still alive,” Ibrahim divulged.
For Mama Ganiyat, she said the accident could have been more fatal had the tricycle riders not moved away a bit from the bus stop.
It would be recalled that a similar accident occurred in 2015 at the same spot adjacent the corporate headquarters of National Pilot Newspapers at Asa-Dam Road, Ilorin, as a water tanker with registration no; Lagos XH527KTU crushed a taxi with registration no; Kwara OLFF475XA, leaving one dead and three others severely injured.