Tragedy struck on the Ife-Ibadan Expressway on Sunday as 11 persons, including children, were burnt to death after an 18-seater bus collided with a fuel tanker.
The accident, which caused gridlock on the expressway, reportedly happened around 11am at a roundabout opposite Moremi Estate, in front of Energy Filling Station in Ile Ife.
The diesel-laden tanker was said to be negotiating the roundabout when the passenger bus, which was said to be coming from Ore in Ondo State, reportedly rammed into it from behind.
Our correspondent gathered that the bus caught fire and the passengers, who became unconscious due to the impact of the collision, became trapped inside the burning vehicle.
Nine passengers were said to have died on the spot, while some of the victims, who were rescued, eventually gave up the ghost.
One victim was said to be in a critical condition at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Ile Ife.
One of the residents of Ile Ife, who was at the scene of the crash, told our correspondent that the Nissan Urvan bus was also loaded with vehicle spare parts scrap metal, which made it difficult for the passengers to escape from the burning vehicle.
The resident, who identified himself as Macdonald Oladipupo, said, “The accident happened opposite Moremi Estate this morning (Sunday). The tanker was making a U-turn, while the bus that was coming from Ore rammed into it.
“Nine of the passengers inside the bus died. A rescue team from the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital came to rescue others. I learnt that some of them later died.”
The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Osun State, Mr. Anthony Oko, confirmed the accident to our correspondent on the telephone.
He said, “No fewer than 11 persons died. A tanker was said to be making a U-turn and a bus coming from Ore rammed into it. The bus caught fire and 11 of the passengers, including the driver died.
“The bus had 12 passengers and the remaining passenger of the bus is in danger list at a hospital. I just pray he survives, but his condition is very bad.
“He suffered third degree burns, but nothing happened to the tanker driver. He ran away immediately after the accident.”
Oko said the driver would be arrested with the help of the police.
He appealed to drivers to always obey road signs and to make sure that their vehicles were in good condition before putting them on the road.