321 die in Anambra, Rivers road mishaps, fire incidents

| January 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

IT was a year of grief as road accidents were said to have claimed 91 lives in Anambra State just as 230 residents of Rivers State died in fire incidents, all in 2012.

The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Anambra, Mr. Hyginus Omeje, said that a total number of 91 deaths were recorded from 313 road crashes in the state in 2012.

Omeje told newsmen in Awka on Wednesday that about 66 fatal accidents were also recorded, while 183 passengers were injured during the period under review. In December alone, 12 people died from 32 crashes while 84 persons were injured.

He said that the number of crashes increased in 2012 compared to 2011 when 64 deaths and 467 injuries were recorded in 141 accidents.

“In 2011, we had only three component commands in Nteje, Nnewi and Onitsha but in 2012, we created additional two commands in Ihiala and Igbo-Ukwu. That simply means that you have more coverage of reported cases. If we open more commands with the sector command on its own, we will gather more data,” he explained.

Omeje, who blamed the accidents on violation of traffic rules and regulations by motorists and other road users, called on them to ensure better road usage in 2013.

“The use of telephone while driving is very high in Anambra, and we are going to clamp down on such offenders this year. Another issue that still bothers us here is the high overloading rate. We still have buses that load four passengers per seat to Enugu and other southeast states instead of three. We still have people overloading their vehicles until the vehicles lose their balance on the ground,” he said.

In Rivers, a senior officer in the State Fire Service, Mr. Golden Elenga, who disclosed the death figure at a sensitisation workshop on fire emergency in the state yesterday, added that 73 persons sustained fire injuries during outbreaks.

Elenga explained that the major fire disaster recorded in the state was the Okogbe tanker fire where about 200 persons died, adding that the remaining figure were recorded in other incidents across the state.

He said that the agency received 304 emergency fire calls in 2012 and out of that, 222 were real fire incidents while 82 were false calls.

His words: ‘’In January 2012, 60 fire calls were received, 17 were false calls while the actual fire incidents were 43. In February, we received 29 calls, 11 were false while 18 were true.’’

A fire superintendent, Mrs. Ateme John Bull, said that the agency was faced with challenges of obsolete equipment, poor training of fire fighting officers, negative attitude of residents to fire fighters and indiscriminate refuse and bush burning. She called on government to give priority attention to the state fire service in order to curtail fire incidents this year.

Angered by the level of destructions caused by a recent fire incident in the state, Governor Chibuike Amaechi last week sacked the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Emeka Wogu. It was gathered that the governor was angered by the manner Wogu managed the fire outbreak at Ikoku Spare Parts Market in Port Harcourt.

Reports had it that state-owned fire fighting trucks had no water to put the raging fire at the Ikoku market, a development that caused the destruction of houses and other property worth millions of naira.

Culled from :Here

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