The 2015 new yam celebration in Umuchu, Local Government Area of Anambra state started like every other year’s, with youths milling around the villange square in celebration mood, but least did they know it was going to trun out a bloodbath, as around 7:30pm on that fateful Sunday, a truck lost its brake and killed no fewer than 22 persons.
The truck, it was gathered lost control as a result of brake failure and rammed into a crowd of indigenes of the area killing mostly masquerading youths and other celebrants of the new yam festival.
The Police Public Relations officer in the state, Mr Ali Okechukwu, confirmed 11 dead and 21 injured in the crash at the time of going to press. Okechukwu said the dead bodies had been deposited in nearby morgue while the injured persons were taken to hospitals for treatment.
But an eyewitness told our correspondent that 17 persons and five masquerades were brought dead from the accident scene on Sunday night when the crash occurred.
The spokesperson of the community, Mr Celestine Ekwem, told our correspondent that ‘the 911 lorry lost brake while descending a slope and rammed into a heavy crowd of people who were celebrating new yam festival.
“We have now suspended every celebration about the new yam festival because of this disaster. We don’t know whether the gods are angry with us or not, but we feel that there is no need continuing with the festival with this kind of human and material carnage.”
” It was just an orgy of human carnages. Our traditional ruler, Igwe Ezechukwu, had ordered everybody to go into somber mood for this calamity befalling our community.