Twelve persons were burnt to death at Academy area on the
Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yesterday, Oyo State in a Lagos-bound commercial
bus that loaded at Iwo Road.
Daily Sun gathered that the Hiace bus somersaulted several times and
went up in flames.
The bus driver was said to have lost control when he
tried to escape from a task force of the National Union of Road
Transport Workers (NURTW).
Eyewitnesses said two ladies escaped death. The 12 passengers were burnt to death, as bystanders could not save them.
One of the survivors, who introduced herself as Kemi, said she boarded
the vehicle at Oremeji Agugu. “After boarding, we discovered that he
(the driver) was being pursued by the task force of the NURTW, for
contravening the laws of the union. He was not supposed to pick
passengers by the roadside. He was supposed to register at any of the
designated garages and parks.
“So, after picking us, they started pursuing him. We begged him to stop
for them but he refused since we were about 14, including the driver.”
An eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, alleged that the bus used by the
NURTW task force drove away immediately the bus started tumbling.
“I am sure they knew that they had killed over 12 people just because
the man did not patronise them at their park. This is sad. Government
must do something about this.”
But, a source in NURTW, argued that the union members did not cause the
accident, saying: “Our task force don’t work on Sundays.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said only one person died in the accident.
Spokesperson of FRSC, Oyo State command, Mr. Seun Onijala, told Daily
Sun that only the driver of the Toyota Hiace with registration number
LAGOS XL 485 MUS, was “trapped and burnt beyond recognition.”
Apart from the driver, other occupants of the bus, according to Onijala,
escaped, adding that detailed investigation into the incident would
reveal the cause of the accident.