A mob has lynched the driver and conductor of a water truck after their vehicle yesterday crushed five school children to death at Oshiri in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
It was gathered that the victims were pupils of St Michaels Schools, Oshiri. The accident occurred at Onu Nworie Egu Oshiri while the water tanker was said to belong to C-Sagas Project Nigeria Limited.
The pupils were identified as Davis Nworie (6), Prosper Ogudu (7), Tochukwu Nwankwo (6), Ada Igwe (7) and three-year-old Peace Ifeanyichukwu. They were returning from school when the tragedy occurred.
The pupils were from Amaokpara village at Oshiri community. It was learnt that the driver of the tanker refused to stop after crushing the pupils, prompting youths of the community to give him a hot chase. The youth caught up with the driver at Onicha Igboeze community. They lynched both the driver and the conductor. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed the accident. She said the pupils were confirmed dead by a doctor at the hospital where they were rushed to.
Odah added that the bodies of the driver and the conductor were recovered and deposited at the morgue of the Onicha General Hospital. But, according to her, no member of their families has come to the station since the tragedy.
She said: “Yesterday, through a distress call, the DPO of Onicha was contacted that an accident happened, killing five school children and angry youths attacked the driver and killed him. “The driver, Ewa Innocent, was from Ameka Ikwo while the conductor, Ojim Danis, was from Agharazo, Iyiemgu Izzi. They are all lying in the mortuary.” Odah, however, urged drivers to drive carefully especially during the ember months.
She said: “Drivers should drive with caution. It is better to be late than to be permanently addressed as late. It is not just that they killed the children. It is true that an accident is an unexpected occurrence but even as we are not expecting it, we should trade with caution because any recklessness can cause an accident. “The CP is mourning and is commiserating with the family. I want to warn road users to drive with care because this is the Ember months period. We have lost a lot this year.”