© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
FRSC, Police confirm death of over 24 commuters in Bauchi road accident
THE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Nigerian Police have confirmed the death of over 24 passengers in a road accident on Thursday morning along Bauchi –Ningi Federal Highway, Bauchi State.
According to the FRSC, 28 people including four male adults and 24 others were burnt beyond recognition during the accident.
Both operatives identified a driver as a survivor. But the Police said 10 cows survived while 10 other cattle were burnt beyond recognition. From the 10 surviving cows, eight were later slaughtered due to their conditions.
Bisi Kazeem, spokesperson of the FRSC confirmed the accident to The ICIR in Abuja.
“It is true,” said Kazeem. “I have sent the details to you.”
He explained that the incident which occurred in Gubi Gari village, Bauchi involved two vehicles, a Peugeot J5 commercial bus and a Toyota Hiace Bus.
However, only one person was injured.
Abdullahi Yamadi, one of the relatives of the victims who spoke to The Punch also confirmed the crash describing it as “very sad”.
He explained that the deceased were on their way to Yola in Adamawa State for family visit when the incident occurred.
“Yes, the accident is true and all of the deceased are my relatives. They were traveling to Yola, Adamawa State, for a visit when the unfortunate incident happened,” he said.
“You know, after the harvest and at seasons like this, people travel to visit loved ones resident in different places; and that was where they were going to.
“They left Dutsinma, Katsina State, and they had left Jigawa State and were within Bauchi State when their vehicle had a head-on collision with another vehicle.”
Yamadi, who is also an executive member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) added that the victims were “29 in the vehicle and all of them died except the driver, who survived”.
“This is very sad news and very pathetic for 28 people from the same family to die in an accident in one day. “It is really sad,” he said.
Remains of the deceased and the victim have been moved to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi State. The sole survivor is also being treated at the same hospital.
Kamal Datti, Police Spokesperson for the Bauchi Police Command could not provide an answer when The ICIR also reached out to him. He advised the reporter to call back in 30 minutes.
Datti confirmed the incident but gave a separate figure of 26 victims when he was later contacted.
Based on his explanation, the incident occurred around 6:30am.
According to him, the Toyota bus was conveying 22 passengers including the driver while the J5 bus had four passengers including the driver and 20 cows.
“It is true. It happened around 6:30 am involving a Toyota Hiace bus conveying 22 passengers including the driver. It left Katsina on its way to Adamawa but had head-on collision with a J5 bus at a location close to Bauchi metropolis along Bauchi-Kano road to Adamawa.”
“The J5 was conveying four passengers including the driver and 20 cows. Two cows survived, 10 burnt beyond recognition and 8 were slaughtered.”
He listed a total of 26 passengers altogether but only the driver of the Hiace survived.
The police added that corpses have been deposited at the mortuary while four corpses were identified and released to the family.