January 21, 2011

18 passengers burnt to death along Benin-Ore road

*16 others seriously injured in a multiple road accident

TRAGEDY struck yesterday along the Benin-Ore express road when 18 persons whose identities are yet to be known were burnt to death while 16 passengers were seriously injured in a multiple accident involving an 18-seater-bus and other vehicles.

The accident was said to have occurred near Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Council of Edo State when an on-coming truck was said to have veered off its track apparently trying to avoid bad spots and rammed into the bus which burst into flames.

It was said that another bus coming behind the burnt bus and two other vehicles ran into the bush while trying to avoid the burning bus. All the passengers in the 18-seater bus were roasted to death while injuries sustained came from the other vehicles that tried to avoid the burning bus.

Four women and 14 men sustained serous injuries in the accident while two others were safe. Eyewitness account said the bus loaded with the passengers was mangled beyond recognition as it somersaulted severally. The incident which occurred at about 5 p.m. yesterday, created a long queue in the area.

The victims were said to have been trapped inside the mangled bus with no rescue in sight. An eyewitness told Vanguard: “We were watching helplessly as the bus was on fire with the occupants. There was no help in sight, there was no body to help, there was nothing we could do.”

Contacted, the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, spokesman, Olu Olumotomi, confirmed the incident, saying: “Our men are already on the spot trying to save the survivors.”

Those who survived were rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH.