Tragedy struck on Friday evening around Oghara Eki in Delta state when an 18-seater bus conveying students and teachers of a school in Ovwian, Udu local government area of Delta state allegedly crashed after its back tire burst causing the bus to somersault severally into the stationary lorry.
It was gathered that the school had gone on excursion to Benin city, Edo state with a supposedly 18-seated bus, but was loaded with 27 persons which included the pupils and teachers and a driver of the bus alleged to be inexperienced.
The proprietress of the school, Mrs Essi Hinges, who confirmed the incident to DAILY POST said “some people said the bus was faulty, it’s not true, it was what was going to happen that happened, the back tire burst, and it somersaulted into stationary lorry after which two pupils, two teachers died, the driver had been the school driver right from the inception, it is rather unfortunate”.
Some of the parents, who spoke to DAILY POST on condition of anonymity, said they were surprised at the urgency with which the school authorities fixed the date and directed parents to prepare their children, adding that apart from compelling them as parents to participate, the school authorities enlisted an inexperienced staff as driver to drive the bus.
It was further gathered that the organizers of the event enlisted five staff, eight students of secondary school arm of the school, and fourteen pupils into the 18-seater bus en route Benin city for the excursion.
But shortly after the driver lost control of the vehicle, eyewitness said the children were flying out of the bus like birds, and many of them landed unconscious on the ground, many of them sustained injuries, two of the pupils and two teachers died on the spot.
A parent of the dead pupils, Mr Richard Okwuagwu told DAILY POST, “I lost two of my kids, Daniel and Faith Okwuagwu, I did not pay for the excursion, I paid money for the cultural day, but because of greed the school did not refund my money, they killed my children because of N10,000. I will take the school to court, I will not accept the mess of losing two children one day, it’s painful.”
The police commissioner in the state, Mustafa Muhammed, who spoke to DAILY POST, said, “the police are investigating the ill-fated bus, we are in custody of the driver, and some of the teachers, investigation is ongoing. The aggrieved parents have petitioned the command, and we are looking into the incident.”