15 occupants of a Toyota bus were burnt beyond recognition in a fatal accident on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.
The accident occurred at Ituku in Awgu Local Local Government Area of Enugu State at about 8:30pm on Saturday, April 8, 2023, when the ill-fated 18-seater bus, which was travelling from Aba, had a head-on collision with a truck, resulting in both vehicles busting into flames.
Spokesperson of the Enugu State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, who confirmed the crash in a statement on Sunday, said only the driver of the tipper survived and is currently admitted in the hospital.
“The Enugu State Police Command regrets to inform the general public that on 08/04/2023 at about 8.30pm, a fatal motor accident involving a Mercedes Benz Tipper with registration number: AAA 285 XR and an 18-Seater Commuter to Enugu South Mass Transit bus, with registration number: NKE 622 XA, occurred at Ituku Awgu LGA, along Enugu/Port-Harcourt Expressway,” the statement read.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the Tipper loaded with bags of cement and plying against traffic from Enugu City, had a head-on collision with the bus loaded with passengers and coming from Aba, Abia State, which resulted in the both vehicles bursting up in flames and all the occupants burning beyond recognition, except the driver of the tipper, who was found alive and is currently admitted in the hospital.
“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Ammani, fdc, while bemoaning the unfortunate incident in this Easter season, when Christians in the State and the world over are commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and also consoled their families, friends and loved ones.
“The CP has, therefore, ordered the State Traffic Officer to carry out full-scale motor traffic investigation into the incident, including evacuating the remains and obtaining the exact identities of the deceased victims and their relatives, as well as coming up with actionable report.
“He cautions motorists against disobeying road traffic rules, while reiterating that the only way to safety on the road is to exercise caution, patience and obey all road traffic rules and regulations.”
Also confirming the accident, the spokesman of the FRSC, Assistant Corps Marshal Bisi Kazeem, said the victims have been given a mass burial.
“The victims have been given mass burial. All obstructions have been cleared. Enugu State Fire Service already extinguished the fire in the bus,” he stated.
“The fatal crash is blameable on several factors including fatigue, which must have made one of the drivers to sleep on the wheels,”
Kazeem quoted the FRSC Corps Marshal, Mr Dauda Biu as advising motorists to desist from night journeys to reduce fatalities from road crashes.
He added that Biu noted that most fleet operators and other vehicle owners, including private vehicle owners addicted to night journeys did so for selfish economic gains.
The FRSC boss observed that most night travellers indulged in overloading of vehicles with passengers and goods.
“Travellers should plan their journeys for the day time because when crashes occur away from FRSC rescue points, it is difficult to access help from other motorists at night,’’ Kazeem also quoted Biu as saying.