By Gbenga Salau, Lagos and Adewale Momoh, Akure
No fewer than 11 passengers were burnt to death in a fatal road accident, which involved a trailer and a Marcopollo bus, at Soka Bridge in Ore, the headquarters of Odigbo Local Council of Ondo State yesterday.
The deceased whose identities were yet to be ascertained were passengers of the Marcopollo bus. According to an eyewitness, the accident was caused by the truck driver, who drove against traffic at excessive speed. The eyewitness who gave her name as Moyosore disclosed that the truck rammed into the Marcopollo bus, which was said to be coming from the Benin axis.
She said: “The trailer was the one that caused the accident. It passed through one way, and the driver was going at full speed.
“It was when it got to Soka Bridge that it collided with the Marcopollo bus, coming from Benin Road. The bus caught fire immediately.” Following the accident, there was a huge traffic snarl on the busy Benin-Lagos expressway, which took the men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) a while to clear.
Confirming the accident, the FRSC Unit Commander in Ore, Sikiru Alonge, stated that the 11 passengers were burnt beyond recognition.
“Efforts are in top gear with other security agencies to remove crashed vehicles from the road,” Alonge said. He urged motorists to always obey traffic rules to avert avoidable tragedies.
MEANWHILE, nine persons yesterday, died from an accident that occurred in Ojuelegba area of Lagos. According to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), upon arriving at the scene of the incident, a truck conveying a 20 feet container was found to have landed on top of a commercial bus.
It stated that further investigations revealed that the commercial bus was picking passengers within the location of the accident when the truck lost control and fell over the side of the bridge.
“After suspending the container load with the aid of the agency’s forklift and cutting off the top of the bus with light rescue equipment, a single adult woman was extricated alive and taken to the trauma centre.”
LASEMA disclosed that at the end of the rescue operation, the final casualty count was nine fatalities comprising, four adult males; three adult females; one boy child and one girl child.
It added that the agency’s heavy duty Goliath and teams from Onipanu and Cappa were on ground for the rescue operation along with the agency’s ambulance, the state fire service, federal fire service, Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and Nigeria Police.
“Further investigation to be carried out by the Nigeria Police on the removal of the barriers on the bridge aimed at preventing trucks from ascending,” the statement said.
Source: The Guardian