Over 60 die in Nigerian road accidents this weekend


Carnage continued on the Nigerian roads this weekend when 61 people died in two separate bus accidents, according to reports.

Forty-nine people were killed and 23 were recovering in hospital today after an overnight bus, travelling from Lagos to the northern city of Kano, blew a tyre and plunged into a river, survivors and hospital staff said.

And yesterday, 12 people died after a mini-bus hit a trailer on a bridge in Lagos and spun off into a canal, a local newspaper reported earlier.

Nigeria's roads are notorious for the high number of fatalities in accidents that occur because of the large number of poorly maintained vehicles, poor roads, bad driving and the overcrowding of cars and buses.

In November last year at least 200 people were killed in a single incident in southwest Nigeria when a fuel tanker lost control and rammed into a line of vehicles queuing at a toll booth before bursting into flames.

In the latest accident, 23 people were rescued from the overnight luxury bus, 10 bodies were recovered and 39 were still trapped inside the submerged bus, staff at the Murtala Mohammed hospital in Kano said.

The hospital said more lives would have been lost had it not been for local fishermen who went out to the bus and pulled out many of the survivors, along with 10 of the bodies.