Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 29 Die in Yobe Auto Crash

Damaturu — A breast-feeding mother and her baby were among the 29 persons killed in a fatal road accident involving two commercial 18- seater buses on the Potiskum-Azare highway in Yobe State. Nine of the 29 passengers were burnt beyond recognition, fifteen people sustained various degrees of injuries while a six year old survived, Corps (FRSC) Shehu Usman Umar Masari told Weekly Trust.

He said there were 36 male and eight female passengers in the two buses and the dead passengers have been given mass burial.

The accident, Weekly Trust heard, followed a collision between a Borno Express bus with registration number XB 2627 MAD and a Toyota Hiace with registration Number XZ 910 KWL at Dazigau village.

According to eye witness account, "The Borno Express vehicle was badly hit by the upcoming bus and caught fire. 15 passengers were burnt beyond recognition. Only three people were thrown out of the vehicle including a boy of about six years who was the only survivor out of the twenty passengers in the vehicle."

He said the Borno express conveying passengers from Maiduguri to Kano had a bust tyre while trying to divert from the old lane of Kano-Maiduguri express way to the newly constructed one and eventually ran into the red Toyota Hiace coming from Kano.

He said they picked an identity card of one of the three people thrown out of the Borno Express and gave his name as Muhammad Abu, a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

He said all effort to get rescue officials proved abortive. "We put about six injured people in the Emir of Fika's utility vehicle, and they were taken to Potiskum Genaral Hospital for treatment" he said

He said most people that survived the accident are from the Red 18-seater bus. "They were lucky, it did not go up in flames but the impact of the collision killed many of them. When we were rescuing them only one middle aged man that sustained fracture was able to speak."

Meanwhile, the FRSC chief said the accident occurred around 2:30pm when the vehicle suspected to on high speed collided head on. "They were overloaded and on a very high speed so they were out of control," he said.

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