An auto crash has claimed the lives of all passengers in an 18-seater bus in Gidan Kwano, along Minna-Bida Road, in the Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the accident happened in the early hours of Sunday.
The occupants of the bus, which was said to have taken off from Lagos, were reportedly burnt beyond recognition.
The bus was suspected to be heading for either Kano or Sokoto.
A resident, Ado Musa, said nobody could ascertain the exact time the accident occurred.
Musa added that the bus rammed into a stationary truck before going up in flames.
He noted that due to the time of the crash, there was no rescue until around 5am, adding that by the time help came, the passengers were already burnt beyond recognition.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abiodun Wasiu, confirmed the incident.
He said victims of the crash were given a mass burial close to the scene of the accident.
Abiodun further stated that the number plate of the bus was also burnt beyond recognition, adding that efforts were being made to trace the bus and its manifest.
In another development, six persons have been feared dead in a boat accident in Bayelsa State.
The victims were identified as a female member of the National Youth Service Corps, a pregnant woman, a mother and her two children, and a 70-year-old man.
They were said to have drowned in the accident, which happened on Saturday between Otuan and Ayama, in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The boat, which had 15 passengers on board, reportedly rammed into a barrier in the water and sank while approaching Ayama to berth amid a heavy rainstorm.
It was gathered that the passengers were covered with a tarpaulin to protect them from the rainstorm when the accident happened.
The corpses of the casualties and the boat were still missing even as a search team had been deployed in the area as of the time of this report.
The unit Chairman of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria at Otuan community, Joseph Shadrach, said the boat driver, Christopher Lucky, had been detained by the police in Ayama for allegedly driving under poor visibility.
He stated that preliminary investigation showed that the weather was bad due to the rainstorm, which started before the boat moved.
Shadrach said, “I was chairman of the union, but some persons who claimed to know more than themselves have been taking charge of the Otuan unit.
“If I was around, I would not have allowed the loading of the boat due to poor visibility and bad weather. I was told a corps member, two children and a woman died.”
The state chairman of MWUN, Ipigansi Ogoniba, said six passengers were confirmed dead.
“Six persons died. When the boat got to Ayama, it had an accident. One corpse was recovered and handed to the family for proper burial, while three adults and two children are still missing or probably dead,” he said.
Ogoniba said the state NYSC authorities had been contacted through the community liaison officer on the identity of the female corps member, adding that “they are still searching for her corpse.”
The spokesman for the state police command, Asinim Butswat, said a search team comprising the marine police, MWUN and divers was making efforts to recover the bodies of the victims.
He also confirmed that the boat driver had been detained for questioning.
The Public Relations Officer of the state NYSC, Matthew Ngobua, said the state coordinator of the scheme had departed for the scene of the incident for identification of the corps member.
He said, “We got the information and the state coordinator and other staff left the orientation camp and went to the place.
“The state coordinator told me that the corps member’s name is on the passenger manifest and the said corps member is not at the lodge.
“The NYSC will make an official brief when the body is sighted and properly identified.”