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Baby, nine others burnt to death in auto crash


An accident scene

An accident scene

Victims yet to be identified, says FRSC

Tragedy struck at Badagry area of Lagos on Monday night, when a baby and nine other passengers were burnt to death in a motor accident that occurred at Iyana Yafin area of Badagry on the Lagos-Badagry expressway.

The incident, which involved 22 people, it was gathered. The accident took place around 10:30p.m., after two vehicles, an 18-seater commercial bus fully loaded with passengers and a Mazda saloon car, had a head-on collision. The impact of the collision resulted in an explosion that engulfed both cars and its respective occupants.

Rescue officials, who confirmed the incident, however, said the victims were yet to be identified by their families. It was gathered that of the 22 victims, 10 were burnt beyond recognition, while 12 others were badly injured and currently receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Badagry.

An eyewitness, identified as Kolawole Ojo, told newsmen at the scene that the commercial bus driver drove against traffic and had a head on collision with an oncoming car. “The commercial bus with registration number, LAR 279 DK, was coming from the Seme end of Badagry Expressway and was driving against traffic from Gbaji Bridge.

“The driver of the bus in an attempt to evade the road blocks mounted along the expressway, switched off the headlight and in the process had a head-on collision with an oncoming Mazda car with registration number, KJA 654XF.”

The collision sparked off an instant explosion and three people from the Mazda car, including the driver and seven people from the commercial bus, as well as the baby were completely burnt to death in the accident. The accident created serious traffic snarl that lasted several hours along the ever-busy highway despite efforts by traffic managers to control it.

Eyewitnesses say one of the two vehicles may have been laden with petrol because of the persisting scarcity, to have resulted in the instant explosion. The state fire servicemen later arrived at the scene to put out the fire, while Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) evacuated the bodies of dead and the living.

FRSC Badagry Unit Commander, Mr. Fatai Bakare, who confirmed the number of the victims, said “recklessness and lawlessness’’ of the commercial bus driver was responsible for the accident, as he drove against traffic in the bid to avoid being arrested by men of the Nigerian Customs Service.

“The driver of the commercial bus drove against traffic; he was actually driving in the opposite direction and speeding. This fatal accident is now the result of the driver’s careless act. People should always learn to obey traffic rules and also consider other road users,” he said.

The police on the other hand, blamed the explosion on the petrol, which was loaded in jerry cans in one of the vehicles involved in the accident.

According to the state police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, who also confirmed the incident, the accident was caused by the effect of the petrol, which was loaded in one of the affected vehicles.”

Badmos said the 10 people were burnt beyond recognition while the others who suffered serious injuries have been taken to the Badagry General Hospital for urgent treatment.

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