According to a report, no fewer than 28 persons said to be members of the same family were reportedly burnt beyond recognition in a fatal auto crash that occurred on the Bauchi-Ningi federal highway in Bauchi State.
It was learnt that the crash occurred in the early hours of Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in a telephone interview, a relation of the victims, Abdullahi Yamadi, confirmed the incident and described it as “very sad.”
Yamadi, who is the Secretary, North-West Zone of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, said the deceased were all his relatives.
He said they were on their way to Yola, Adamawa State when the incident occurred.
He said “Yes, the accident is true and all of the deceased are my relatives.
“They were travelling to Yola, Adamawa State, for a visit when the unfortunate incident happened.
“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.
“They were 29 in the vehicle and all of them died except the driver, who survived.
“This is a piece of 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.”
The FRSC Corp Commander Najume said the accident involved two vehicles — a Peugeot J5 Bus and a Toyota Hiace Bus.
“The 18-seat Hiace bus had number plate ZRM-91XA, while the number plate of the second vehicle couldn’t be ascertained, as it was burnt beyond recognition,” Najume explained.
He said he led FRSC officials to the scene of the crash at about 6.49am for a rescue operation.
“Yes, the accident is true. The accident occurred at Gubi Gari Village, along Bauchi-Kano highway.
“The driver of the Hiace bus was sleeping and he suddenly woke up to see the oncoming vehicle, but he lost control and had a head-on collision with the J5.
“Immediately the crash occurred, the two vehicles caught fire and all of them, including the passengers and the cows, were burnt beyond recognition.
“It was only the driver of the Hiace bus that survived, with serious injuries.
“In all, 28 people — 24 in the Hiace bus and four in the J5 — were burnt beyond recognition.
“We could only identify that four of them were males, while the sexes of the others could not be ascertained because they were burnt beyond recognition,” the FRSC commander narrated.
Najume said the charred bodies and the lone victim who sustained serious injuries were taken to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, for confirmation and treatment, respectively.