From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
About 59 passengers on board the Young Shall Grow luxury bus escaped death by the whiskers yesterday when the vehicle caught fire at Awkuzu, along the Onitsha- Enugu Expressway.
The incident, which made the passengers to scamper for safety, also caused heavy traffic along the road as many drivers parked their vehicles from a safe distance as smoke billowed from the rubbles of the burning bus.
When Daily Sun visited the scene, the distraught passengers watched helplessly from a distance as fire onsumd the bus inluding goods and luggages. Deafening sounds of explosive materials and from the gas chamber of the vehicle occasionally rented the air as onlookers ran for safety.
One of the passengers who said he was a soldier, said they boarded the bus from Onitsha enroute Yobe State.
“We are three soldiers on board the bus returning to our base in one of the Boko Haram states among other passengers. When we got to Awkuzu, we noticed an unusual smell from the bus coupled with jerking movements. The driver was hesitant when we told him to stop, but immediately he complied, the whole bus was already on fire, most of us had to jump out of the window,” he said.
The Unit Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nteje unit, Mr. Justin Bosah, who was at the scene, said though the immediate cause of the fire has not been established, the fire could not be contained because the vehicle also conveyed some inflammable items of trade like gas cylinders on transit.
He expressed surprise that the driver had no fire extinguisher while the bus would have needed at least two packs of 9kg fire extinguisher in case of any emergency.
He cautioned drivers to stop carrying inflammable items.