It was an ugly scene in Imo State, when an 18-seater bus travelling from Orlu to Owerri, collided with a fuel truck in Imo State on Friday, killing 19 persons in the bus.
It was learnt that the truck loaded with diesel was on its way to Orlu when the accident occurred on the Njaba Bridge along the Owerri-Orlu Expressway.
An eyewitness told newsmen that the bus and the truck had a head-on collision and burst into flames immediately, trapping the passengers in the process.
By the time the fire was put out, the passengers who died had been burnt beyond recognition.
The tragedy caused a gridlock in the area as residents and travellers battled the fire alongside men of the Federal Road Safety Corps.
In a television conversation, the state commandant of the FRSC, 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 a rescue mission and controlling traffic. We have not ascertained the cause of the accident and we don’t have the casualty figure yet.”
But the state Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem, confirmed that 19 passengers indeed died in the accident.
“Immediately we learnt of the incident, the command quickly contacted firefighters,” he said.