AP

Official: Car crashes into street party in Nigeria; 7 killed

Dec 27, 2022, 12:15 AM | Updated: 2:18 pm

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — An out-of-control car crashed into a crowd at a large street party in southern Nigeria on Tuesday, leaving seven people dead and many others injured, authorities told The Associated Press.

The driver lost control of the car on a packed street in Calabar, Cross River State capital, just as people were gathering to watch a bikers parade at the Calabar carnival, Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Corps said.

Tuesday’s bikers show is one of the main highlights of the carnival event known as one of Africa’s biggest street parties. The annual carnival has regularly drawn people from across Nigeria and beyond since it began nearly two decades ago.

Thousands had gathered to watch the bikers’ stunts when the car smashed into people, scattering bodies and leaving the injured along the road, witnesses said.

Hassan Abdullahi Maikano, head of the road safety corps in Cross River, told AP that the car was traveling at high speed when it ran through security controls.

“The motorist lost control and ran into the crowd. The total number involved were 36; seven died and 29 got injured,” said Maikano, adding five of the injured were children. The driver survived but was injured, he added.

Cross River Gov. Ben Ayade ordered the parade canceled and the driver placed under arrest, according to Christian Ita, his spokesman.

Ita said the governor has extended his sympathies to the victims and their families and ordered an immediately investigation into how the crash occurred.

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Official: Car crashes into street party in Nigeria; 7 killed