24 family members, four others die in Bauchi road crash
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Nigerian Police Force have confirmed the death of 28 passengers in a road accident yesterday morning along Bauchi-Ningi Federal Highway, Bauchi State.
According to the FRSC, 28 people, including four male adults and 24 others were burnt beyond recognition during the accident. Both operatives identified a driver as a survivor. But the police said 10 cows survived while 10 other cattle were burnt beyond recognition. From the 10 surviving cows, eight were later slaughtered due to their fragile conditions.
This is coming one week after six persons were killed along Buchi-Jos road. FRSC Bauchi Sector Commander, AbdulRazak Najume, told newsmen that the accident occurred in the early hours of Thursday involving two vehicles on a head-on collision.
He explained that the accident involved a Peugeot J5 bus and a Toyota Hiace bus with registration number: ZRM-91XA full of passengers while the second vehicle couldn’t be ascertained as it was burnt beyond recognition.
Najume said the Toyota bus driver slept off while he lost control and had a head-on collision with the other oncoming vehicle conveying cows. He said he led FRSC officials to the scene of the crash at exactly 6:49a.m. for rescue operation. “The accident occurred at Gubi Gari Village, along Bauchi-Kano highway.
“The vehicle took off from Dutsinma in Katsina State and was on its way to Adamawa State when the accident occurred. There were 29 people who were involved in the crash and only one survived. The driver of the Toyota bus was sleeping and he suddenly woke up to see the other oncoming vehicle but he lost control and had a head-on collision with the J5.
“Immediately the crash occurred, the two vehicles caught fire and all of them including the passengers and the cows were all burnt beyond recognition. It was only the driver of the Toyota bus that survived with serious injuries.
“In all, 28 people, 24 in the Toyota bus and four in the J5, were burnt beyond recognition. We could only identify that four of them were males while the sex of the others could not be ascertained.”
The FRSC boss added that the bodies and the victim who sustained serious injuries were taken to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi for confirmation and treatment. He expressed sadness over the unfortunate accident and cautioned drivers to be more careful while on the road to avoid loss of lives and property.
“This is saddening and unfortunate losing 28 people in a day in an accident. These drivers need a change of character and attitude because you cannot just carry people and drive putting families in endless sorrow.
“You see, the driver of the bus was sleeping while driving and it was very late at night. They should avoid night journeys because this accident was very fatal. I went there myself with my men and you could see how people got roasted, people melted. We saw a head inside the vehicle but there was no body, it’s very unfortunate,” he stated.
Abdullahi Yamadi, one of the relatives of the victims who spoke to a newspaper also confirmed the crash describing it as “very sad”.
He explained that the deceased were on their way to Yola in Adamawa State for family visit when the incident occurred.
“Yes, the accident is true and all of the deceased are my relatives. They were traveling to Yola, Adamawa State, for a visit when the unfortunate incident happened,” he said.
“You know, after the harvest and at seasons like this, people travel to visit loved ones resident in different places; and that was where they were going to. They left Dutsinma, Katsina State, and they had left Jigawa State and were within Bauchi State when their vehicle had a head-on collision with another vehicle.”
Yamadi, who is also an executive member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) added that the victims were “29 in the vehicle and all of them died except the driver, who survived”.
“This is very sad news and very pathetic for 24 people from the same family to die in an accident in one day. It is really sad,” he said.
Kamal Datti, police spokesperson for the Bauchi State police command confirmed the incident but gave a separate figure of 26 victims.
According to him, the Toyota bus was conveying 22 passengers including the driver while the J5 bus had four passengers including the driver and 20 cows.
“It is true. It happened around 6:30a.m. involving a Toyota Hiace bus conveying 22 passengers including the driver. It left Katsina on its way to Adamawa but had head-on collision with a J5 bus at a location close to Bauchi metropolis along Bauchi-Kano road to Adamawa.”