Calabar carnival: 14 killed at annual bikers’ event

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A file picture shows stunt performers at the bikers’ event – one of the carnival’s the biggest draws

At least 14 people have been killed and 24 others injured after a vehicle ploughed into crowds watching bikers at a popular carnival in Nigeria’s southern port city of Calabar.

Eyewitnesses said that a speeding driver lost control of the car.

Pictures shared online in the immediate aftermath of the incident show bodies strewn across the street.

The month-long annual carnival, which features several events, has become a big draw since it was launched in 2004.

Dubbed Africa’s biggest street party, it attracts local and foreign tourists throughout December.

Tuesday’s incident took place during the popular bikers’ parade on one of the major carnival routes which had been closed to vehicle traffic.

The event features riders, including celebrities, from across the country, some adorned in colourful costumes, performing stunts.

The police said a drunk driver – who has been arrested – had lost control of the car and ploughed into the crowd.

Cross River State Governor Prof Ben Ayade cancelled the rest of the bikers’ parade and called for an immediate investigation.

Other events planned for the rest of the carnival – which is set to end on New Year’s Eve with a fireworks display – have not been cancelled.

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