Nigerian journalists who were involved in an accident on Wednesday in Ivory Coast are in stable condition but still nursing some injuries after escaping death while covering the ongoing tournament, The PUNCH reports.
They were returning to Abidjan from the Ivorian capital Yamoussoukro after covering one of the last Group C games between Senegal and Gambia as well as the Group D clash between Angola and Burkina Faso at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro.
Eleven Nigerians were among the over 50 journalists on board the vehicle which reportedly collided with a wall at about 2:30am Ivory Coast time.
The four Nigerians who sustained injuries are Muyiwa Adeniyi, an independent photojournalist; Hassan Abdulsalam of Pulse Sports, Victor Olohunferanmi of People’s Gazette and Seun Oyediji of Kick442.
The trip from the Ivorian capital to Abidjan is about 235km and should last for about three hours, but two-and-a-half hours into the journey, a loud bang woke many of the journalists, who were napping on the bus.
“The only thing I saw when I woke up was that I met myself on the floor of the bus. I had slipped into another place, while my hand was stuck in one of the chairs. Immediately, I stood and saw people scampering for safety through the window,” Adeniyi told our correspondent.
“I twisted my hand from the shoulder part and I was administered drugs after taking some drips, which eventually worked. And others did testify that they are okay. Just that we need to get those drugs that were prescribed,” he added.
Abdusalam noted that the response of the police escort and Ivorians was prompt.
“While taking the nap, a loud sound woke me up and I found out that the bus was moving towards a wall, that’s how I jumped through the window to safety as I thought it was an explosion,” Abdulsalam said.
“Immediately the auto crash happened, the police escorting the bus made some emergency calls and the security and ambulance arrived immediately.
“The ambulance took some seriously injured people to the hospital and all other passengers to two hospitals. I don’t know the name of the other hospital but I was taken to Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Abidjan for a checkup. We were checked and given an injection to suppress the pain.”
Images of the bus also showed it was seriously damaged. The journalists said they had returned to work while the tournament enters the round of 16 stage on Saturday.