Scores die in Calabar carnival accident


The Federal Road Safety Corps has confirmed seven persons dead and 29 injured in an incident that occurred during the annual Calabar Carnival on Tuesday.

The Sector Commander of the Corps, Maikano Hassan, confirmed the number of casualties to the News Agency of Nigeria.

He said that the incident occurred in front of the Jumat Mosque in Bogobiri in the capital city of Cross River during the Bikers Carnival activity of the carnival.

Hassan listed the number of injured to include 21 male adults, three women, two male children and three female children.

He said that the injured were rushed to the Naval hospital and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital for medical attention.

He said that the remains of the dead had been deposited in the two hospitals in Calabar.

According to him, the incident occurred when a Toyota Camry car lost control and rammed into a crowd of onlookers during the carnival.

NAN reports that the incident abruptly brought the day five activity to an end, where the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade was already seated with other dignitaries.

It would be recalled that the annual carnival which started during the administration of Donald Duke, has not been held for the past two years.

The carnival was suspended in 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic while no reason was given for the carnival not holding in 2021.

NAN reports that efforts were still being made to put some facilities in place for the 2022 edition of the carnival which was hurriedly put up.

Meanwhile, Gov Ayade has condoled the families of those who lost their lives and promised to bring to book the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident.

Leading a high powered delegation from the state government to both the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and the General Hospital Calabar, Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet David Ekpenyong said surviving victims of the Unfortunate incidence will be properly managed in both Health facilities with Cross River State Government taking care of the bills.

She noted that the prompt attention of health workers including Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists and other staff have helped manage the casualty figures which otherwise would have increased the death toll.

According to her, His Excellency Sen Prof Ben Ayade is saddened by the incident and has mandated that
all hands must be on deck to ensure immediate and appropriate care to the survivals who suffered different degrees of injuries both internally and externally.

She assured the survivals of their quick recovery and timely discharge to reunite with their families and go about their routine businesses.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Iwara Iwara encouraged those who may have sustained injuries as a result of the incident not to manage such injuries at home but should visit the hospital

The Director General , together with the PS handed over some essential drugs and consumables as they were excited to the news of quick recuperation by some of the victims.