At least 14 people were killed and two dozen others injured after a drunk driver drove into a crowd of people watching a bikers’ parade in Nigeria.
Reports state that the incident took place on Tuesday during Nigeria’s annual carnival in the city of Calabar. The massive month-long event attracted patrons from around the country as well as foreigners who returned to Calabar after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the event’s grand return was marred with Tuesday’s tragedy.
The carnival hosts a number of events, and on Tuesday, attendees gathered to watch the parade of bikers which featured celebrity riders. The parade took place on one of the carnival’s major routes, and the authorities had closed it to vehicle traffic, but that did not prevent the driver from ploughing into the crowd.
Police say the drunk driver lost control of his vehicle. Musa Kutama, the father of one of the injured victims, disclosed to BBC News that the driver had been swerving from left to right and began spraying money on the road when he reach the throng of people. According to Kutama, the crowd rushed to retrieve the money, at which point the incident occurred.
The injured were taken to the University of Calabar teaching hospital for treatment, and the driver was taken into custody. An investigation into the incident is ongoing to ascertain how the driver passed through security barricades which were placed to bar access.
Officials cancelled the remainder of the parade, but the remaining events at this year’s staging of the carnival will proceed as planned.