Two road crashes leave 55 dead in Nigeria

KANO, Nigeria (AFP) - Fifty-five people were killed and 10 were injured in two separate road crashes in northern Nigeria, the country's road safety body said on Monday.

"We have recorded 55 deaths in two road crashes on Sunday and Monday due to speeding and reckless overtaking," said Mr Yusuf Sani, Nigerian Road Safety spokesman for Yobe state.

A multiple crash involving three vehicles on Monday killed 35 people, including 19 church members on their way back from the southern city of Lagos where they attended a religious meeting.

"All the 19 members of Redeem Christian Church of God who were travelling in one bus were burnt beyond recognition as the bus caught fire on collision with the other two vehicles which also burst in flames shortly afterwards," he said. "The victims in the other two vehicles were returning from a wedding."

The spokesman blamed the collision, which occurred on the Potiskum-Maiduguri highway, on speeding.

On Sunday, 20 traders returning from a local market were killed when the open van they were in collided with an articulated truck, Mr Sani said, attributing the accident to "reckless overtaking".

Sixteen of the 20 victims were girls who had been selling wares, he added.

Accidents are frequent on the west African country's poorly maintained roads due largely to speeding, overloading and reckless driving.

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