No fewer than four persons died on Monday after an 18-passenger commercial bus went up in flames at ASCON, at the Mowe end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.
The victims comprised a 15-year-old boy and three adults – a female and two males – who were burnt to death, while 12 other passengers sustained injuries.
It was said that the bus, with number plate, LND 991 XN, belonged to Agofure Motors and had taken off from Lagos State.
The driver of an Iveco truck, with number plate, NSR 213 ZD, en route to Lagos was trying to avoid hitting another vehicle and in the process, the truck ran into the median and veered to the other side of the road.
It reportedly rammed into the oncoming bus, which sparked off a fire. While the bus was completely burnt, part of the truck was affected by the fire.
Our correspondent gathered that the firefighters from the Redeemed Christian Church of God responded to a distress call on the accident.
The emergency officials, together with men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mowe unit and some policemen recovered four dead bodies from the bus, while 12 persons were rescued with burns.
An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the injured were rushed to the RCCG Hospital and the Lagos State Accident and Emergency Centre, Tollgate, Lagos, for treatment.
He said, “The corpses of the four passengers have been deposited in a morgue and the fire has been put out by the RCCG firefighters. We have called the management of Agofure Motors to come with the manifest of the occupants so that we can identify the victims.”
It was learnt that the incident caused a traffic jam on the expressway, forcing some motorists to look for alternative routes.
“The wreckage has been cleared from the road for free flow of the traffic. The truck driver had fled before the police arrived at the scene. The truck was heading for Lagos while the bus was travelling from the state,” another official added.
The Ogun State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Clement Oladele, confirmed the deaths, adding that security agents had launched a manhunt for the fleeing driver.
He said, “We received a distress call at about 7.30am that there was an accident at the ASCON end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway involving an IVECO truck, with number plate, NSR 213 ZD, and a Toyota bus of Agofure Motors, marked, LND 991 XN.
“Nineteen persons were involved in the crash, which also resulted in fire. Four persons were fatally burnt, while 12 persons were injured.”