ABOUT 12 passengers were roasted to death on Sunday afternoon, around Academy area, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, when a Toyota Hiace travelling to Lagos somersaulted, following a chase by an alleged team of task force of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Oyo State chapter.
An eyewitness informed the Nigerian Tribune that two ladies, one of them identified simply as Kemi, however, survived the incident.
Secretary of the state NURTW, Akin James, however, exonerated members of the union, saying “NURTW task force don’t operate on Sundays. It can’t be NURTW task force as claimed. They should investigate the matter well.”
Nigerian Tribune was reliably informed that the bus, alleged to be coming from Iwo-road axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, was being chased by the task force operators possibly from Oremeji area.
The bus, however, reportedly lost control and somersaulted before an explosion shortly after leaving the Academy Bridge, around Yanaty Flour Mills bus stop.
Eyewitness informed the Nigerian Tribune that caught fire immediately after the accident while the alleged NURTW task force disappeared at the same time.
According to him, “two ladies came out after breaking the rear glass and the 12 others in the burnt were burnt to death, as onlookers watched but could not help.
“The driver of the bus chasing the accident bus drove away immediately after seeing that the bus had somersaulted. They just continued driving and didn’t look back. I am sure they know that they have killed over 12 people just because the man did not patronise them at the motor park. This is sad. Government must do something about this,” he said.
He added that the girls exhibited a rare courage to break the back glass of the bus, an act which surprised everybody and even provided a platform to know the cause of the accident.
One of the survivors, Kemi, gave a brief recount of the incident, before she was led to a nearby hospital by good Samaritans.
“We boarded the bus at Oremeji Agugu area. Thereafter, we discovered that the driver was being pursued by the task force of the NURTW, who, we were told, were not happy with him for contravening the laws of the union that he was not supposed to pick passengers by the roadside. He was supposed to register at any of the designated garages and parks for loading.
“So, after we boarded, they pursued him endlessly and when we discovered that, we were appealing to him to stop but he refused. We were about 14 in the vehicle, including the driver,” she said.
Remains of the charred bodies of the victims were said to have been deposited at a mortuary.
As of the time of filing this report, the police were yet to make any statement on the incident.