Several others were injured in the crash.
By Arodiegwu Eziukwu
Seven persons were on Friday morning burnt to death following a collision between a Toyota Hiace passenger bus and a private vehicle in Zarama community, along the Bayelsa flank of the East-West Road.
The collision caused a loud explosion after the passenger bus was thrown into a nearby farm.
Seven passengers were reportedly burnt beyond recognition following the explosion while nine others survived with injuries.
Market women and sympathizers wailed uncontrollably at the accident scene while rescue operations were going on close to Zarama weekly market.
The Unit Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Sagbama local government, Chukwuma Ukaegbu, blamed the accident on total disregard of traffic regulations by both vehicles.
“The Toyota Siena and the bus were on high speed. They were both driving recklessly before the accident occurred as a result of dangerous overtaking.
“We have been able to rush eight victims to the Niger Delta Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri in Bayelsa,” he said.
The FRSC official said victims were burnt to death as they were trapped inside the vehicle before help came.
The 18-seater Toyota Hiace with registration number YB 820 AAA went up in flame after the collision.
The driver of the passenger bus reportedly died instantly.
A witness, Joel Ebi, who witnessed the accident said the commercial bus was traveling from Warri to Calabar when the crash occurred.
He said the second vehicle, a Toyota Siena bus with registration number BJ 292 BWR, was conveying a family of eight from Warri to Aba when the accident occurred.
It was gathered that the driver of the Toyota Siena bus sustained a minor injury.
Remains of the passengers have been deposited at the morgue of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri ,while the rescued commuters were receiving medical treatments in same hospital.
Both vehicles were on high speed as one of them attempted to overtake the other; which resulted in the collision and both vehicles veering off the road.
Another witness, John Amabebe, said immediately the accident occurred the Hiace Bus veered off the road and found itself close to his farm.
Mr. Amabebe said he heard a loud explosion before the vehicle caught fire,
“The bus suddenly burst into flames. We rushed to the scene and were able to rescue seven of the passengers,” he said.
One of the survivors of the accident in the Toyota Siena bus, who declined to disclose her name, thanked God for saving her life .
The Bayelsa Commander of the FRSC, Vincent Jack, confirmed the accident saying that he had since dispatched his officials to the scene for rescue operations.
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