No fewer than 25 persons lost their lives in a very serious accident that occurred in Kogi State involving a tanker conveying fuel and an eighteen seater Delta line with registration number AS 885 coming from Asaba, Delta State.
Our correspondent gathered that both vehicles got burnt to ashes with the occupants, noting that except the Tanker driver who escaped by whiskers, all the eighteen passengers in the Delta line bus, three persons in a tricycle and two cars were burnt beyond recognition.
The accident which occurred at Felele, outskirt of Lokoja, Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road at about 1:30pm Friday saw residents of the area scampering for safety as the thick smoke and bad odour from the human flesh filled the air.
When our reporter visited the scene at exactly 2:05pm, officers of the fire service were making frantic efforts to control the fire from spreading but it was Dangote fire service which came all the way from Obajana that brought inferno under control.
At the time of filing this report, it was observed that 18 unidentified bodies were seen lifeless on the ground.
Sympathizers watching helplessly expressed shock and blamed the bad nature of the road for the accident and young inexperienced tanker drivers that are the root causes of some accidents on the highways.
Abdullahi Ibrahim, who travelled with a Delta line from Asaba recalled to our reporter that he wanted to observe Jummat prayer at 4 SEASON restaurant on the highway before the incident, noting two tricycle riders popularly called Keke Napep were equally burnt in the accident.
“The tanker and the eighteen seater bus were trying to overtake each other. But unfortunately, the tanker lost balance and it fell on the bus.
“We have been complaining to the government to fix this road. Now you can see how many lives that have been lost. No fewer than 21 lives have been lost here.” Ibrahim added.
Another eyewitness to LEADERSHIP Weekend that they put a distress call to the fire authority for more 20 minutes but they claimed there was no fuel in their vehicle.
“I am really disappointed with our firemen. We have been calling them that people are dying here, but all we could hear is that they don’t have fuel. What a shame.” he lamented.
He, however, appealed to the government to do the needful, stating that a similar accident happened on the same spot where lives were also lost.
The Federal Road Safety Corps, Kogi State command is yet to confirm the accident and come up with an official casualty figure.