9 footballers, 2 coaches perish in auto accident

  • Thursday, December 25, 2008 - From HENRY CHUKWURAH, Port Harcourt
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Tragedy struck in Plateau State on Sunday evening when nine footballers and their two coaches got burnt to death in a ghastly motor accident on the Mangu-Pankshin Road.

The footballers and coaches, numbering 15, were returning to Jos after a football match with a local team in Pankshin Local Government Area, when the Peugeot J5 they travelled in had a head-on collision with a commercial Volkswagen Golf car.

It was learnt that the impact made the vehicle conveying the footballers to somersault several times and burst into flames with most of the occupants trapped.
Before help could reach come, 11 of them had been consumed by the fire.

Six of the footballers who suffered serious injuries were initially rushed to a hospital nearby before being moved to the Jos University Teaching Hospital for further treatment.
The State Commissioner of Youths and Sport, Mr. Joel Gwatau, who confirmed the sad incident, said the football team from Jos North Local Government Area had a match, which was lost to another team and on the way back to Jos, the most unfortunate incident occurred.

Mr. Gwatau said those who lost their lives in the accident were burnt beyond recognition, while the survivors in the hospital were responding to treatment. He said the casualty figure was high because rescue help came late.

The commissioner added that the government was making efforts to reach out to parents of the deceased and those who suffered injuries in the accident.
When Daily Sun visited the state ministry of youths and sports and Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos most of the workers and other sports personalities were seen in pensive mood, discussing the unfortunate incident.

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