A couple and five other persons were among those who were burnt to death in an accident along the Gbongan-Ibadan Road in Osun State.
This is just as four pupils of the Federal Government Girls College, Oyo, Oyo State, and a driver were crushed to death in an accident that occurred a few kilometres to the school gate.
The Osun State auto crash involved a Toyota Sienna and an 18-seater Mazda passenger bus. One of our correspondents gathered on Monday that the accident, which happened on Sunday, also claimed the lives of two siblings, who were returning to their school.
Eyewitnesses said the accident was caused by a burst tyre suffered by the Mazda bus. It was learnt that the bus was speeding when the tyre burst, making the driver to lose control, while the bus eventually collided with the Sienna going towards Osogbo.
The bus reportedly caught fire after colliding with the Sienna. Seven persons, including the couple and the siblings, were reportedly burnt to death.
No fewer than 11 passengers were also said to have suffered injuries in the crash.
One of the eyewitnesses, who identified himself simply as Femi, said, “ The accident was caused by the driver of the Mazda bus because he lost the control of the bus when the front tyre burst. He collided with a Toyota Sienna that was coming towards Osogbo.
“The driver of the Sienna and his wife died on the spot, while five passengers in the bus were burnt beyond recognition. Two children of the same parent were also said to be among those burnt to death in the bus.
“We could not help them immediately because of the fire. It was a gory sight.”
Another eyewitness told one of our correspondents that those injured would have been burnt to death, but for other motorists, who brought them out of the vehicle before the fire engulfed it.
The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Osun State Command, Mr. Umar Ibrahim, told one of our correspondents that those injured in the crash were taken to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Ile Ife.
Ibrahim appealed to motorists to always ensure that their vehicles and the tyres were in good condition before embarking on any journey.
In the Oyo State incident, four pupils of the Federal Government Girls College, Oyo, and a driver were crushed to death by a truck a few kilometres to the school gate on Sunday.
Five other pupils were said to have been injured in the accident and had been admitted in some hospitals in the town.
The deceased pupils – John Olubukola, SS3; Giwa Taibat SS3; Ladipo Mojisola, SS1; and Ibirogba Mariam JSS 3 – and those injured were reportedly returning to the school after observing the mid-term break.
The college’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Akin Omitade, told PUNCH Metro that the accident occurred near a market when an overloaded truck carrying bags of foodstuffs lost its balance while trying to negotiate a narrow bend in the busy market.
It was gathered that in the process, the truck fell on a mini-bus conveying the pupils to their school, killing four of them and the driver of the bus.
The school PRO also attributed the accident to the poor state of the road.
He said, “The students were returning to school from the mid-term break. They were already in Oyo town and boarded the mini-bus at the garage ahead of the 6pm resumption deadline.
“But the accident occurred when a truck carrying bags of garri lost its balance and fell sideways, spilling its content on the mini-bus conveying the pupils.
“The driver and four pupils died immediately, while five other pupils who managed to escape were seriously injured.
“Our appeal is for the government to quickly help us repair that narrow part of the road. We also want to call on the market and community leaders to ensure that traders are not allowed to display their wares by the roadside as that often compounds the traffic situation on the dilapidated road.”
When PUNCH Metro visited the school, it was noted that academic activities had been suspended because of the large number of parents, members of the community and other sympathisers who paid condolence visit to the school.
The market was also shut in “honour of the deceased.”