17 burnt to death as fuel tanker collides with passenger bus at Njaba bridge, Owerri (PHOTOS)

Seventeen people were feared dead on Friday in Imo State after an 18-seater bus conveying passengers from Orlu town to Owerri, the state capital, had a head on collision with a truck.

PUNCH correspondent learnt that the truck, which was on its way to Orlu from the state capital, was conveying diesel.

The tragedy, according to an eyewitness simply identified as Paschal, occurred on Njaba bridge along the Owerri-Orlu expressway.

He said “over twenty people lost their lives at Njaba bridge after a trailer conveying diesel lost control.

It ram into an 18 seater bus and sadly all the occupants of the bus were burnt alive”.

Another source, Chukwukere Obinna said ” relevant authorities should take note of the kind of accidents that occur these days.

It happened at Njaba bridge .it was a multiple accident. People were feared dead.it is a disaster. A black Friday indeed”.

Another eyewitness,who gave his identity as ikechukwu ,disclosed that immediately the two vehicle collided, they gut fire and burnt to death eighteen passengers.

He said “it was a black Friday as more than twenty people died in an accident between a tanker carrying diesel and an 18 seater bus.

The bus burnt beyond recognition ,all the passengers were roasted alive except one woman who miracles survived”.

The tragedy had coursed serious traffic gridlock in the area ,as villagers,co travelers and the men of Road safety corps were battling to rush the survivors to hospital and to clear the road for free flow of traffic.

In a television conversation, the state commandant of Federal Road Safety Corps,Kayode Aremu,who confirmed the tragedy ,said that he had yet to be briefed about the casualty figure.

Aremu said ” my men are at the scene of the incident on rescue mission and controlling traffic. We had yet to ascertain the course of the accident and we don’t have the casualty figure yet”.

The state Police public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem,said “immediately we learnt of the incident ,the command quickly contacted professionally fire fighters .

They are at the scene battling to extinguish the inferno .we don’t have the casualty figure yet. The situation is being managed”.

Photo credit: IfeanyiCy Njoku/Ochinanwata N

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