Yenagoa - Seven persons were on Friday burnt to death following a collision between a passenger bus and a private vehicle in Zarama community on the Bayelsa flank of the East-West road.
The collision reportedly caused a loud explosion, after the passenger bus, an 18-seater Toyota Hiace with registration number YB 820 AAA, was thrown into a nearby farm.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dead passengers were burnt beyond recognition following the explosion, while nine others survived with fatal injuries.
Market women and sympathisers wept uncontrollably at the accident scene while rescue operations were going on at the accident scene, close to the popular Zarama weekly market.
Chukwuma Ukaegbu, the FRSC Unit Commander in Sagbama Local Government Area, blamed the accident on total disregard of traffic regulations by both vehicles.
“The Toyota Siena and the bus were on high speed, and they were both driving recklessly, before the accident occurred as a result of dangerous overtaking.”
“We have been able to rush the victims to the Niger Delta Teaching Hospital at Okolobiri in Bayelsa,” he said.
Ukaegbu disclosed that the burnt victims were trapped inside the vehicle, adding that the bus had gone up in flames after the collision, with its driver reportedly dying instantly.
The Bayelsa Commander of the FRSC, Vincent Jack, also confirmed reports of the accident.
He however said he had since dispatched officers to the scene for rescue operations.
Joel Ebi, an eyewitness, said the commercial bus was travelling from Warri to Calabar when the crash occurred.
He said the Toyota Siena car, with registration number BJ 292 BWR, was conveying a family of eight from Warri to Aba when the accident occurred.
The driver of the Toyota Siena however sustained a minor injury.
NAN reports that the remains of the dead passengers have been deposited at the morgue, while the rescued commuters were receiving medical treatment at the same hospital.