Not less than 11 persons lost their lives on Thursday after a commercial bus with 14 passengers on board was destroyed by fire on the Otedola Bridge in the Berger area of Lagos.
It was learnt that eight males and three females died while three persons were rescued from the wreckage alive.
It was gathered that the bus was at top speed heading towards Berger from the Mushin area of the state when one of its tyres suddenly deflated.
The bus was said to have somersaulted several times before it was engulfed in flames.
An eyewitness, Ojo Daramola, said the accident happened around 6pm, adding that the driver had struggled to stop the bus but was unable to.
He said, “I wanted to buy a satchet of water when I heard the sound of a crash. A few seconds after, the bus exploded and all the passengers were trapped. The fire raged for some minutes before emergency officials came for rescue operation. People by the roadside fled to safety. I learnt the bus was coming from Mushin. Most of the passengers died.”
The LASEMA General Manager, Michael Akindele, has confirmed that 11 people died in the crash.
He said three persons rescued from the explosion had been taken to the Accident and Emergency Unit at Toll gate for treatment while the remains of the deceased had been deposited at the Mainland General Hospital’s morgue.
Akindele said, “A 14-passenger volkswagon commercial bus at top speed somersaulted after it tyre burst. The bus burst into fire afterwards. Eleven persons — three females and eight males — were burnt dead while three persons were rescued alive. They were taken to the Accident and Emergency Unit. We are on identification process to identify the deceased and hand them over to their families.”
The Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the bus driver, who escaped the crash, fled the scene.
She said, “The command’s operatives from the Isheri division received a call that an 18-seater bus heading towards Berger from Mushin was involved in a lone accident and caught fire. A total number of 11 people consisting three women and eight men were burnt to death instantly while four others have been rushed to the hospital.
“Investigation revealed that the driver of the vehicle escaped the inferno and later fled the scene immediately the accident occurred. Policemen and firefighters are on ground to put out the fire and clear the obstruction the accident might have caused.”