Over-speeding has been identified as the most likely cause of the accident
The victims are believed to have left Lagos for Edo State for a burial at Uronigbe in Oriohwon Local Government Area of Edo.
Their bus plunged into a river along J4 expressway in Ijebu-East Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Rescue officials, Saturday, recovered 12 corpses of the victims of the accident , which occurred at the Ogun axis of the Sagamu-Benin-Ore expressway. The bodies were recovered after over 9 hours of collaborative operations by different relevant agencies on Saturday.
The bus, believed to be carrying over 30 passengers, veered off a dual carriage bridge into a river. Three people were rescued alive on Friday. The bus conveying the passengers was also recovered from the river, early on Saturday.
The recovery mission was carried out by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC; National Emergency Agency, NEMA; Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, TRACE; Nigeria Police Force; and the Red Cross Society.The 12 corpses recovered include those of 11 women and the male driver. The bus was a Federal Urban Mass Scheme coastal bus with Abuja registration number BWR 428 XA.
The FRSC, IJebu-Ode Unit Commander, Issa Seidu, while speaking after the recovery, confirmed that 12 bodies were so far recovered while 3 people were rescued on Friday night and were rushed to a private hospital in Ore.
He said one of the survivors told the commission that it was 21 passengers that were in the bus, including the driver.
“Although we don’t know the actually number of people in the bus but one of the survival said they were 21 in number,” he said.
“It is a clear case of over speeding on the part of the driver of the bus,” the Road Safety official said. “If you look at the distance from which the bus ran into the river which is about a kilometer away, it shows that the driver was on a terrible speed.”
In his reaction, Ibrahim Farinloye, the information officer of NEMA South-West Zone 2, assured that the agency would commence search and rescue operation of the remaining bodies in the river.
He said the agency could not ascertain the number of the people inside the bus as there was no passenger manifest found in it.“This is the first phase of the of the operation, the second phase which is going to start soon will be search and rescue operation for the rest bodies.
“With what we have seen, it clear that it is not an 18-seater bus, but we will get to the park where the bus loaded to get the manifest to ascertain the actual figures of people involved,” he said.
The Ijebu Zonal Commander of TRACE, Tommy Hamzat, also said over-speeding was the cause of the accident.
He urged road users to be very patient on the highways, especially during the ember months.
“I want to urge road users to be patient during this festive period because the road is patient and they also needed to be patient,” he said.
The Ogbere Police Divisional Officer, Isunmekhe Osamaye, while speaking, described the rescue operation as perfect without any disturbance from hoodlums.
He disclosed that all the money and other property recovered from the bus would be given to the relatives of the deceased whenever they show up.
“We will park everything we recovered into the bus and tow it to our station and whenever the relatives of the deceased show up, we will give it to them,” he said.