A Bus Rapid Transit vehicle with number plate EKY 88XR was gutted by fire on Monday at the Iyana-Oworo end of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the driver, who had successfully conveyed passengers to the Tafawa Balewa Square, was on his way back to pick more passengers at Mile 12, when the bus developed an electrical fault that caused the inferno.
While the vehicle’s system was said to have shut down during the incident, the driver, who was the only one in the vehicle, was said to have escaped through the emergency door.
The Public Affairs Officer, Lagos State Fire Service, Bola Ajao, who confirmed the incident, said the Ilupeju Fire Station was mobilised to the scene to extinguish the fire.
“Immediately we received a call about the incident, the Ilupeju Fire Station was turned out to the scene. The fire started from the engine compartment and burnt the vehicle beyond recognition. My advice to all drivers is that they should be careful while driving,” Ajao stated.
The General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Adesina Tiamiyu, said no casualty was recorded in the incident.
Tiamiyu said, “On arrival at the scene of the incident, the information we gathered revealed that a blue BRT bus had an electrical fault, which resulted in it getting completely burnt.
“Fortunately, there was no casualty. The fire has been completely extinguished by the men of the Lagos State Fire service. Traffic control is ongoing, while we await the arrival of heavy duty equipment and low bed for the evacuation of the burnt bus.”
The Chief Security Officer, Primero Transport Services Limited, the franchise holder of the BRT buses, Cletus Okodolor, said the driver of the bus escaped through the emergency exit when the vehicle shut down on the highway.
He stated that investigation was ongoing to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Okodolor said, “Around 9.40am, one of our buses, with code number 063, got burnt. The driver went to drop passengers at the TBS and was on his way back to Mile 12 when he noticed smoke at the rear of the bus around the Iyana-Oworo end of the Third Mainland Bridge.
“While making an attempt to park the bus, everything about the power system of the bus shut down. In an attempt to escape, the doors could not open the doors, but he had to escape through the emergency exit and put through a call. Attempts to fetch the fire extinguisher were too late.
“We called the fire service people, but before they could get there, the flame had taken over the bus. We have commenced investigation to determine the cause of the fire.”
An eyewitness, who identified himself simply as Soji, said the driver of the burnt vehicle should have been observant and apply the necessary precaution when the vehicle was covered in thick smoke.