By Monsuru Olowoopejo & Esther Onyegbula
Two children and eight other passengers were Monday night burnt to death as 12 others suffer severe burns after a saloon car and commercial bus collided and burst into flames at Iyana Yafin, Badagry Local Government, Lagos State.
Vanguard gathered that the accident, which occurred at about 8:30 pm on Badagry Expressway, caused severed gridlock along the axes.
There were different accounts of the cause of the fire disaster after the collision of the vehicles. An eyewitness told Vanguard that one of the vehicles was conveying fuel to the border town of Seme , while another eyewitness said that could not be verified.
It was learned that one of the vehicles with registration number plates KJA 654 XF drove against the traffic in order to avoid being impounded by the officers of the Nigerian Customs.
A resident, Olakunle Adio, said the bus while driving against traffic switched off its headlamp to avoid being seen by the Customs officers, adding “this was responsible for the head-on collision because the driver of the saloon car was not aware of his action.”
Also, Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC Badagry Unit, Mr. Fatai Bakare, disclosed that the bus drove against traffic from Gbaji Bridge to avoid being apprehended by Customs officers and collided with a Mazda 626 car en route to Seme Border.
The unit commander noted that the impact of the head on collision resulted in flames, thereby, burning 10 persons including a child beyond recognition while twelve victims were rescued from the scene.
Bakare said that the survivors were rushed to Badagry General Hospital for treatment.
Confirming the incident, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Lagos State, Dolapo Badmos and the Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, said that 10 persons were burnt to death while seven others suffered serious injuries in the accident.
Badmos said the 10 person were burnt beyond recognition while the seven others who suffered serious injuries had been taken to the Badagry General Hospital for urgent treatment.
On the reason for the vehicles bursting into flames, Dolapo argued that one of the vehicles was loaded with jerry cans filled with petrol. “After the collision, the two vehicles burst into flames and the passengers burnt beyond recognition.”