Tragedy in Ibadan, one pupil dies, 14 others burnt as school bus catches fire

Tragedy struck in Iyana-Church Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday as one pupil whose name was given as Rachel, died and 14 others of Divine Wisdom Group of Schools, Amosun, Ibadan, aged between five and 11 got seriously burnt, when the bus conveying them to school suddenly caught fire.

Due to the severity of the burns, most of the pupils have been admitted at the emergency unit of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, where they have been placed on oxygen. The girl died on admission in hospital.

 At least eight of the children were said to have suffered shock as a result of the incident, which threw Wakajaye, Iyana-Church, Maku, Amosun and other communities into confusion. Many parents who had their children in the school, especially, those whose children had been picked early in the morning rushed to the scene.

 It was gathered that the school bus, a Ford with registration number GR 329 LND had suddenly stopped working at Iyana-Church, besides Olorun-Esan filling station, forcing the driver to park the vehicle to ascertain what was amiss. The driver, who is also a motor mechanic, was said to have asked the older ones among the pupils to come down to help him push the bus.

 While pushing the bus, the pupils were said to have called his attention to fuel dripping from under the vehicle, after which it caught fire. The driver, whose name was given as Mr Sherif Ogundele told Daily Sun “The children called my attention to the fuel which was dripping from under the bus. I tried to check it but while I was trying to open up the engine, the bus caught fire.” About 15 pupils in the bus were said to have been seriously burnt, while those pushing it escaped unhurt.

 Ogundele, whose son, Usman, a five-year-old nursery 2 pupil was among the victims of the fire incident also had his hand and leg burnt while trying to rescue children. “I was able to rescue about seven pupils before people later joined me”.
 Daily Sun learnt that but for the people who joined him in rescuing other children trapped in the bus, the damage would have been more severe.

 All the burnt pupils were later rushed to the UCH for proper medical attention in a commercial cab and motorcycles before one of them died in the hospital. The school was deserted when Daily Sun visited as many parents were said to have withdrawn their children, while the proprietress, Mrs Oke Ejemuta and other teachers went to the UCH to monitor the children. Ejemuta was said to have ordered the school shut shortly after the incident.

 At the emergency unit of UCH, many of the victims’ parents wept uncontrollably after seeing the extent of burns on their children. Mrs Jumoke Oderinde, whose two kids were among the children, slumped at the UCH after seeing the intensity of burns on his son, Goodness.
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