On Saturday, November 26, 2022, no fewer than four persons perished at the popular tipper garage junction in Dutse Bmaupma, Abuja. The junction is one of the busiest in Abuja as it is located close to a popular filling station, AYM Shafa along the Dutse-Bwari expressway.
An eyewitness account narrated that the death figure may rise considering that about four other person’s were critically injured.
He narrated that a truck loaded with sand from the Bwari axis of Abuja failed its break close to the busy tipper garage.
According to him, a pregnant woman, a man crossing to AYM Ushafa to refill his gas, and two passengers inside a Keke Napep were all smashed by the ill-fated truck. Those injured according to various eyewitness accounts were the driver of the truck and his boy and other people just standing and waiting to board vehicles to town.
Violent protest by Okada, Keke riders
A vulcanizer working at the filling station who pleaded not to be mentioned in the media told our correspondent that the incident resulted in a violent attack on people by Keke and Okada riders within the area. He said they started to protest the death of the Keke driver. He said it was difficult to understand why they were protesting over the incident as it was only an accident.
According to him:
” The Hausa boys in the area went violent on people as if they caused the accident. Some road safety officers and VIO who came for rescue operations were attacked. While one ran across the road to the other side, we kept another one in our office here pleaded with the boys not to go violent. But the attacks continued until the mobilization of a combined force to the area.”
He said it was after the combined forces were mobilized to the area that peace finally returned.
Legit.ng observed that the incident caused serious gridlock in the area, forcing the majority of people driving from Bwari and Ushafa to turn back. The road was completely cleared around 3pm, several hours after the incident.
The Junction of death
Tipper garage is generally referred to as the junction of death by those who follow events in Abuja. On the same day, and shortly after the truck accident, another accident involving multiple vehicles occurred in the area. Though no life was lost, about 3 persons were injured.
Also, on Monday, November 8, 2022, two Okada riders were involved in another accident. Legit.ng reports that while one was confirmed dead, the second was rushed to the hospital with the hope that he could survive.
30 killed at Tipper garage is 2022
No fewer than 2O persons were said to have been killed in different accidents within the area since this year. Most of the accidents are, however, caused by tippers and trucks lifting stones from Muko where various quarry activities are currently ongoing.
In January this year, at least 5 persons were killed when a truck loaded with sand fell on two vehicles waiting in the traffic. The accident caused a major gridlock around the axis. Also in March, a trailer driver lost control and ran into people queuing up for fuel. At at least 5 persons were killed.
Another multiple accident caused by a truck happened around the junction when some vehicles ran into a truck crossing the road to the side of Muko. 4 people were killed.
Okada and Keke Napep accidents around the area had caused at least the death of 3 persons.
Road users blame poor traffic control
Road users and residents of Dutse have said that the incessant accidents around the area were caused by poor traffic control .
According to them, in the first place, the U-turn around the junction should have been stopped as there is a big round-about at Ushafa bridge, a few kilometers away from the “death” zone.
Mrs Gloria Otene, a businesswoman said:
“Honestly, there is no point allowing people to make a U-turn in the area. Making U-turn in this place gets this place locked every morning and once there is an accident, many people are often affected.”
She also lamented the filling station located around the area, saying fuel queues at the dangerous place puts many lives in danger. She said:
“There is also no need for people to be queuing up for fuel at this dangerous place. The filling station should find a way around a safe fuel queue, else people are exposed to danger on a daily basis.”
But a filling station manager around the area said the problem can only be tackled by creating an alternative road for the tippers lifting sand and stones from Muko. He said 90 percent of accidents around the place were caused by tippers either crossing the road, making a U-turn or driving into the road without caution. He suggested that the tippers should rather be made to take alternative routes.
When Legit.ng reached out to Bisi Kazeem, the Public Education Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, via telephone, he did not take his calls, but a police officer who does not want his name in print said something should be done in order to reduce the high level of accidents within the axis. He advised the government to be proactive.
Abuja roads are considered to be the best in the entire country, but despite the good state of the roads, the nation’s capital has continued to record a series of accidents.