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Six persons returning from pilgrimage die in Osun crash


Tragedy struck yesterday in Eripa, Boluwaduro Local Government Area of Osun State when six persons died in a motor accident, leaving nine severely injured. The victims were Catholic parishioners who were returning from an annual Oke Maria Pilgrimage in Otan Ayegabju, Osun State.

The pilgrimage was organised by the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo. The white bus with registration number: LAGOS GGE 109 DY, was said to have lost control and rammed into a ditch before colliding with a fence on the road. It was said to be a lone incident.

The pilgrimage had held between Saturday and Sunday where thousands of worshippers had gathered for prayers at the Oke Maria mountain located in Otan Ayegbaju. The bus was said to have belonged to SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Lagere, Ile-Ife.


It was gathered from eyewitnesses’ account that the vehicle had lost control at about 11:00a.m. after the pilgrimage had ended at 8:30a.m. yesterday.Officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) arrived at the scene and evacuated the accident victims from the bus with the help of residents of the community.
Among the injured was a Catholic priest, Rev Father Matthew Arimoro. The bus was said to have been conveying some Catholic youths of Ile-Ife, most of whom are students. About 20 passengers boarded the 18-seater-bus.

Bodies of the deceased have been deposited at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) for post-mortem. Confirming the crash in a statement issued by the Chaplain of the Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS), Rev. Fr. Peter Akinola said some of the injured were taken to various nearest hospitals for treatment.

“I just left Ogo Oluwa Hospital, Iree now where four of them were transferred to Osogbo after they have been stabilised. Six others were stabilised at Ikirun and about four are receiving treatment at LAUTECH and Jaleyemi Hospitals respectively,” the priest said.Also reacting, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Johnson Kokumo, has directed investigation into the cause of the crash.

Meanwhile, a yet to be identified woman narrowly escaped death on Saturday evening when a container that fell off a truck on Iyana Ipaja Bridge, landed on her leg, cutting the foot off. It took the efforts of men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and passers-by to save the woman’s life.

According to an eyewitness, the tragedy which occurred at about 6:30p.m. caused panic and traffic jam as passers-by scampered for safety. The Director-General of LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, who confirmed the incident, said: “Upon arrival of LASEMA officials at the accident scene, it was discovered that a 40-foot container had fallen from the bridge at Iyana-Ipaja on an adult female. She, unfortunately, got trapped under the fallen container.

“She was subsequently, extricated from beneath the container by the agency’s rescue team and taken to the hospital by officials of Lagos State Ambulances Service, LASAMBUS, with a severed limb. Subsequently, rescue team recovered the container as well as the limb of the victim from under the container.”


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