No fewer than nine persons were reportedly burnt to death, while three others sustained varying degrees of injury when a commercial bus exploded in Ijebu-Ife on the Ore-Ijebu Ode-Sagamu Road in Ogun State on Thursday.
The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Ogun State Command, Clement Oladele, confirmed the incident.
Oladele said in a statement that the accident occurred around 3.20 pm.
He said there was a fire incident involving a Toyota Hiace commercial bus, which was on motion with 19 passengers.
The statement read in part, “The FRSC rescue team, on receipt of the information, raced to the crash scene and commenced rescue operations.
“While some of the passengers were rescued from the raging inferno, other passengers, as of the time of this report, were still trapped in the burning vehicle.
“A total of 10 persons, comprising six male adults and four female adults, have been rescued from the inferno with three others, made up of two male adults and one female adult, sustained serious injuries, with some suffering first-degree burns.”
He added that men of the fire service were also invited to extinguish the inferno.
According to Oladele, the injured victims were evacuated to a nearby hospital in Ijebu-Ode for immediate medical attention.
The FRSC commander said, “During an investigation by the FRSC crash investigators, one of the injured victims confirmed the total number of passengers as of the time the ill-fated vehicle commenced the trip was 19.
“The ill-fated bus has been confirmed to be the property of De-Modern Transport Company.
“Nineteen passengers in all have been confirmed to be in the ill-fated bus made up of 17 adults and two children
“The vehicle was coming from the East and going to Lagos and was conveying the passengers with some chemical products identified to be inflammable products.
“Further investigation by the FRSC crash investigators revealed that the vehicle, while on transit, malfunctioned and had to stop intermittently several times to repair the faulty fuel pump and fuel tank, which the driver kept on managing by tying ropes to support the malfunctioning fuel tank, hoping it could be managed to Lagos; there was a sudden spark and the vehicle was engulfed in fire.
“The faulty fuel tank, at some point in the journey, detached partially from the vehicle while on motion. The tank was haphazardly fixed and at some point during the trip, it made contact with the road surface, causing intermittent sparks
“The unidentified flammable substances conveyed in the bus assisted to intensify the inferno.
“After the fire was extinguished by the Nigeria Fire Service, a total of seven adults and two children were confirmed dead.
“The FRSC, Ogun State Command, has commiserated with the victims of the unfortunate incident and requested their relatives to contact the FRSC Unit Command at Ijebu Ode for details of the crash.”