Abeokuta — Nine passengers were yesterday burnt to death in a road crash involving a Toyota Hiace commercial bus at Ijebu- Ife along Sagamu-Benin expressway.
Our correspondent learnt that the bus which had on board 19 passengers was heading to Lagos from the eastern part of the country when the accident occurred around 3:20pm on Thursday.
It was further gathered that the fuel tank of the vehicle had developed fault while on transit, but the driver tied the malfunctioning tank with a rope, which eventually detached while the vehicle was in motion and resulted to flames which engulfed the vehicle.
The Sector Commander, Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun State, Clement Oladele confirmed the incident in a statement made available to our correspondent on Thursday in Abeokuta.
Oladele said nine people died including two children, while 10 of the passengers were rescued, and three sustained various degrees of injuries.
"Preliminary investigation by the FRSC Crash Investigator revealed that the vehicle while on transit suffered a malfunction and had to stop intermittently at several times to repair faulty fuel pump and fuel tank which they kept on managing by tying ropes to support the malfunctioned fuel tank.
"The driver hoped he could manage the vehicle to Lagos, but it suddenly sparked and engulfed in fire while in motion.
"The unidentified flammable substances conveyed in the bus assisted to intensify the inferno.
"After the fire was extinguished by the Nigeria Fire Service, total of nine persons, consisting of seven adults and two children were confirmed dead," he said.
Oladele implored motorists to adhere strictly with the 1947 United Nations Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) to prevent this type of avoidable crash.
He said that the injured victims were rescued to ROONA Hospital Ijebu Ode for immediate medical attention, while the deceased were deposited at the hospital's morgue.