Joint security patrol team in Oyo State, Operation Burst, was on Thursday thrown into mourning following the death of a female Army officer and three other personnel of the outfit in an auto crash in Ibadan.
Contrary to the report that the patrol team was on the trail of some hoodlums, it was learnt that the crash happened as the security patrol team attempted to beat the traffic gridlock along Mokola-Sango-UI-Ojoo Expressway.
An eyewitness, Sunday Odetara, said, “This morning there was a light traffic due to the weekly environmental sanitation exercise. At a sharp bend on the way to Sango from UI the van hit the electric pole in the median and skidded to the other side of the expressway.”
In the process, he said, the patrol van driver, having lost control, rammed into a commercial vehicle from the opposite direction (Sango end of the road).
Four members of the security outfit reportedly died on the spot while others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs. Olabisi Ilobanafor, said, “The accident occurred at about 9am. It involved an operation burst vehicle, a private vehicle and a motorcycle.
“One Police Inspector, Adebola Apata; a Lance Corporal, Bola (surname not given), a female police and a private soldier called Oneh died.
“Police corporals Bello Kayode and George Adeyemo and Sgt. Abdullahi Mannir (soldier) as well as the driver of the private vehicle and the cyclist were injured.”
It was learnt that the victims were rushed to the University College Hospital for treatment.