A middle-aged driver was burnt to death yesterday when his bus caught fire on the Third Mainland Bridge.
A commercial bus driver, identified only as Baba Ibeji, was burnt to death on Wednesday after his vehicle somersaulted several times before exploding on the Third Mainland Bridge.
Baba Ibeji was driving on top speed when the tyres burst around 7am, a few metres from the UNILAG waterfront.
The Mazda bus, with number plate, Lagos MUS 781 XB, was said to be heading inwards the Lagos Island when disaster struck.
A Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) official said the passengers inside the 15-seater bus marked MUS781XB rushed out, but the driver was not lucky, as he became trapped. He was still struggling to free himself when the vehicle exploded.
“Immediately the tyre burst, the bus somersaulted twice. As soon as it came to a halt, the bus caught fire leaving the passengers no choice than to run for their lives. They did not know the driver was trapped in the bus. Even when the fire was quenched, the seat belt was still intact on his body. Commercial drivers who recognised the bus gathered at the scene and informed the owner of the bus. It was a great loss,” he said.
The accident was said to have caused gridlock on the bridge, as some other bus drivers and friends of the victim tried to put out the fire.
It was learnt that policemen from the Adekunle division, officials of the Rapid Response Squad, LASTMA and firemen from the Lagos State Fire Service responded to the emergency.
The fire was eventually put out by the fire service men, while the police handed over the victim’s corpse to his family members, who later showed up at the scene.
The Director of the state fire service, Rasak Fadipe, said the accident was caused by speeding, adding that the Ilupeju fire station got to the scene around 7.30am.
He said, “The commercial bus was heading towards the Lagos Island with some passengers and agricultural produce like onions, stuffed in its boot.
“It was involved in a lone accident around 7am. The vehicle somersaulted severally before exploding on the Third Mainland Bridge. Unfortunately, the driver was burnt to death. He could not come out like the other passengers because his leg was broken.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the tragedy, adding that the police handed the corpse to the family for burial.
She said, “The RRS team stationed on the Third Mainland Bridge moved to the scene.
“The corpse was burnt beyond recognition, but the family has taken it. The remains of the driver were removed by LASTMA officials.”
The spokesperson for LASTMA, Mahmud Hassan, appealed to motorists to drive with caution and within the speed limit to forestall avoidable death and loss of property.
Hassan said, “All motorists should realise that there are loved ones waiting for them at home.
“They must drive with caution and within the speed limit to forestall avoidable death and loss of property.”
Source: The Nation Nigeria