Driver, 10 others burnt alive, 3 injured in Ebonyi ghastly autocrash - Police

By Peter Okutu

NO fewer than 11 passengers were feared dead while three others sustained varying degrees of injuries resulting from a fatal accident that occured at Ayaragu along Afikpo-Okigwe expressway of the State.

Vanguard reliably gathered that before the incident occurred, the vehicle was coming from Umuahia to Abakaliki.

Addressing newsmen over the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer of Ebonyi State Police Command, DSP Loveth Odah, who described the incident as unfortunate noted that the accident involved an 18 seater bus Abia Line Network Company Ltd.

“It is an unfortunate incident this morning when the DPO of Ivo Division called on the Commissioner of Police that there was a fatal motor accident that occurred along Afikpo/Okigwe Expressway by Ayaragu in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State involving 18 Seater Bus Abia Line Network Company Ltd with registration number MUS938XA conveying about 14 passengers on board.

“According to an eyewitness, on reaching the said area, one of the tyres burst and the vehicle surmasulted and landed on the ground. Before it could reach down according to the eyewitness, it has already caught fire.

“So, the fire burnt about eleven of the passengers  beyond recognition. Three survived, one is  in the general  hospital in Ishiagu while two have been discharged to go but the driver died at the spot.

“The manifest we saw in the vehicle was that of 7/2/2021. The question is, did they load yesterday (Sunday) or the manifest is faked to deceived the police and other security agencies on the road?

“The Commssioner of Police has sent his condolences to the family while we call on the general public whose brothers and sisters plied from Umuahia to Abakaliki to move to Ivo General Hospital for the identification of their corpses but the problem is that someone who was burnt beyond recognition, how do you identifiy such person?

“It is a very unfortunate incident and it now takes me back to what I have been telling drivers to always check their vehicles to ensure they are road worthy before they ply roads. The other day, the tyre of a Peace Mass burst and three persons died. Today, the tyre of this particular bus also bursted.”

An eye witness, Mr Jeremiah Aja told Vanguard that the accident occured when a bus belonging to Abia Line Network coming from Umuahia to Afikpo lost control due to excessive speed, killing almost all the passengers on board.

Aja, who witnessed the incident while working on his farm narrated that the bus was moving at an excessive speed and could not negotiate a bend.

He said: “The drive could not negotiate a bend due to high speed and he lost control and somersaulted multiple times inside the bush; we were able to rescue two persons before the bus caught fire and we ran away.

“It took the prompt intervention of Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu, Ivo Local Government Chairman, who brought water tankers and put out the fire.

“The police and officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) teams quickly moved the two persons alive to a nearby hospital where they are now receiving medical treatment.

“Over 10 bodies burnt beyond recognition have been evacuated to the motuary by FRSC officials,” Aja said.

Vanguard News Nigeria 


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