Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt
TWO persons were seriously injured when a passenger train hit a Hilux van in Woji axis of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The incident had caused a lot of anxiety as residents of the area trooped out as a result of the deafening sound that resulted from the accident.
The train marked 2306 had rammed into the stationary Hilux van said to be owned by a Port Harcourt-based company as a result of the traffic jam along Woji road.
It was learnt that the train had taken off from Aba in Abia State around 5.30am while the accident occurred by 7am.
An eyewitness, who identified himself as John, said the bang made people to rush to the scene of the incident, adding that two persons, who were occupants of the Hilux van, were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.
“Many feared that the train would trample on the Hilux van. Initially, we thought the Hilux belonged to the police; we were later told that it does not belong to the police. We thank God that no life was lost in the accident,” John said.
It was also gathered that the driver of the Hilux van had ignored an instruction of a traffic officer to stop for the train to pass.
It was in his attempt to cross to the other side of the road that the train came close and rammed into the van, pushing it about 80 metres away from the point of the first impact before it came to a halt.
An angry mob had moved in to beat up the driver of the Hilux van for refusing to obey the red flag raised by the traffic officer, but was saved by a group of policemen already on the ground.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, told our correspondent that the traffic jam on Woji Road was to blame for the accident.
Omoni, who spoke in a telephone interview with our correspondent, further explained that two persons, who were injured were currently receiving treatment in a hospital.
“The accident, which occurred this morning was caused by traffic jam. Two persons, who were injured, are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.
“Contrary to speculations, the bashed Hilux van does not belong to the Nigeria Police Force. It belongs to a company in Rivers State,” the state police spokesman stressed.