No fewer than 25 persons lost their lives in a fatal accident that occurred in Lokoja ,Kogi State, capital, on Friday, when a tanker conveying fuel and an 18-seater bus coming from the North had a head-on coalition. Our correspondent observed that the incident resulted in fire, which burnt both vehicles to ashes.
The accident which occurred at the Lokoja end of Felele – Okene – Abuja Road at about 1:30pm saw residents of the area scampering for safety.
Our correspondent who visited the scene reports that the fire service, which arrived the scene at about 2:20pm, to salvage the situation only worked for few minutes as it ran out of water.
Our reporter counted 18 unidentified bodies burnt beyond recognition, while about 10 cars parked by the roadside were equally consumed in the inferno.
Sympathisers watching helplessly expressed shock and blamed the accident on the poor nature of the road.
An eyewitness, Bawasa Ibrahim, said two tricycle riders popularly called Keke Napep, were equally burnt in the accident.
Ibrahim said, “The tanker and the 18-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 25 burnt bodies can be seen here.”
Another eyewitness, Haruna Sadiq, who sympathised with families of the victims, said people in the area called the fire service for more 20 minutes but that they claimed there was no fuel in their vehicle.
“I am really disappointed with our firemen. We have been calling them that people were dying here, but all we could hear was that they didn’t have fuel. What a shame,” he said.
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 sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Kogi State Command, Mr. Segun Martin, who confirmed the accident, however put the causality figure at 10 as of the time of filling this report because the fire was still raging. He added that a tanker, truck and a tricycle were involved in the accident.