On 27 May, 26 people were burnt to death in a huge inferno resulting from a motor accident in Ibadan, Oyo State. About 25 vehicles and other equipment worth several millions of naira also perished in the tragedy.
The accident occurred around 10.30 a.m. in front of the popular Yaoland Fuel Station along the intra-city Iwo Road-Ojoo route in Ibadan. Local sources said it involved a petrol tanker which, in trying to avoid collision with an 18-seater bus, ran into an electric pole. As the tanker was loaded with petroleum products, its contents spilled and then it burst into flames.
All 18 passengers in the bus were burnt to death. A nursing mother, who was selling engine oil by the roadside, died while trying to save her baby trapped in the burning wreckage. Witnesses said about eight roadside mechanics also died in the inferno, while many others were seriously injured and rushed to various hospitals. The fire, which spread up to about 100 metres, also affected about seven buildings in the vicinity, including a church.
For hours, officers of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Nigeria Police Force battled the chaotic traffic situation created by numerous motorists who were frantically trying to get past the obstruction caused by the accident. However, the Sector Commander of the FRSC in Oyo State, Mr Godwin Ogagaoghene, later said his men had brought the situation under control.