“We were at the scene of the accident to help rescue the victims but we couldn’t do anything rather than look helplessly in sympathy as fire consumed them,” an eyewitness said.
He said they could not do anything to save them because there was no water anywhere near the scene to extinguish the roaring flames. Our reporter gathered that that was how many of the crash victims were burnt to ashes, while the few who survived sustained injuries.
The scene of the accident at Kwanar Kofa, a village about 62 kilometres from Kano, was a pathetic sight to behold.
Unlike the usual scenario where people from neighbouring villages or towns and passers-by could offer rescue for accident victims, in this case and many other peculiar circumstances, rescuers could not offer much but to patiently watch as the victims were burnt to death.
The accident which occurred at about 1.00am, reportedly happened as a result of tyre burst from an 18-seater bus with registration number AA 375 BKK as confirmed by the Kano State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Yusuf Garba.
Weekly Trust further learnt that 19 people were burnt to death on the spot while nine survivors were rushed to the hospital where one of them died on that day and two others the second day.
Among the survivors were the driver, his conductor and four other passengers now receiving treatment at the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano.
While on hospital bed, the bus conductor, Inusa Mohammed, narrated how the tragedy occurred, admitting that the bus driver drove against traffic on the Kano-Kaduna lane in an attempt to avoid armed robbery attack that they were warned about by oncoming vehicles.
According to Inusa, “we were travelling to Kano from Ilorin and just some kilometres to Kano, we learnt that armed robbers were attacking on our lane hence, the driver moved to the opposite lane and all of a sudden, our tyre burst. Before one could do anything, the car somersaulted and burst into flames killing 19 people on the spot.”
Another survivor, Sadiya Yusuf, who also spoke under pains from the burns she sustained, told Weekly Trust that it was really tragic as she lost her husband and daughter on the spot.
Sadiya said, “I lost my husband and daughter on the spot of the accident and as you can see, I am in real pains. Only God knows if I will survive it.”
She recalled how they were screaming for help and supplicating to God when the tragedy occurred. “All I can remember is that I saw the vehicle heading for the bush and we all started screaming for help from God and people but not much could be done for us. It is only God that saved the few of us”.
Weekly Trust further gathered that the vehicle had flat tyres on two occasions before reaching the accident point to the extent that they had to replace one of the tyres with another one.
Well, considering the punctures they had, this indicates that their tyres were bad. This was corroborated by the bus conductor who claimed that the problem was rectified when they bought another tyre to replace the bad one.
His words. “It is quite true that we had two punctures but we bought a new tyre and replaced the bad one. Therefore, our tyres were not faulty.”
However, an expert, the Kano State Sector Commander of the FRSC, explained the probable cause of the accident, saying it is a self-fatal accident which a lot of factors could have been responsible for its occurrence.
According to Yusuf, “ordinarily, a tyre burst wouldn’t have led to the fire outbreak because we have established that the vehicle was conveyng a motorbike which had fuel in it and that could be the possible cause of the fire.”
He further explained that investigations revealed that the vehicle was over-loaded. Originally, the bus was meant to convey just 14 persons but in the usual way things are done in this country, more seats were locally constructed to make it an 18-seater bus.
“We also found out that the vehicle was originally a 14-seater bus but more seats were constructed locally and attached so that it will contain 18 people. And there were 28 persons travelling in the vehicle even as it was also loaded with grains and animals,” said the FRSC boss.
Yusuf equally spoke against night journeys, emphasizing that many accidents that occur at night are fatal because people cannot do much to rescue the victims.
His words, “We are appealing to the general public to shun night journey because it is very dangerous. Unlike accidents that happen in the day time and people can make contributions to rescue the victims, it is not always the case when accidents occur at night. Therefore, drivers should be conscious of their safety and that of passengers.”
Yusuf further cautioned people against the use of second hand tyres, because“second hand tyres are expired tyres and, people should desist from using them because they have no guarantee.”
The Kano State police public relations officer, SP Baba Mohammad, confirmed the accident.
Currently, the three adults and the two children who survived the accident are receiving treatment at the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano while the driver who also sustained injuries has been taken to Katsina for traditional medication.
Nigerians can now earn US Dollars by acquiring premium domain names, most clients earn about $7,000 to $10,000, all paid in US Dollars. Click here to learn how to start.