No fewer than 22 pupils, two teachers and a driver of the Government Day Secondary School, Misau, Misau Local Government Area of Bauchi State, have been killed in a fatal motor accident on Bauchi-Kano Road.
The incident occurred around 11am on Tuesday after a bus conveying the pupils and their teachers, who were travelling to Kano State for an excursion, had a head-on collision with a trailer.
A witness, who identified himself only as Adamu, said the bus driver was attempting to avoid a pothole at Tsamiya Uku village, near Gaya LGA of Kano State, when he collided with the trailer.
“The bus and the trailer drivers were on top speed before the bus collided with the trailer. There were about 26 casualties,” he said.
He added that while the injured had been admitted to the Gaya General Hospital, the remains of the dead pupils and teachers were deposited in the hospital’s mortuary.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Bauchi State Governor on Education, Sabo Mohammed, confirmed the incident to Newsmen in a telephone interview.
He said, “It was an unfortunate incident. Members of the Hausa club of Government Day Secondary School, Misau, were on their way to Kano State for an excursion when their vehicle had a head-on collision with a trailer.
“A teacher and a student, who survived with serious injuries, have been taken to the Misau General Hospital for treatment.
“As I speak to you now (6:30pm), we are in Misau to bury the victims. About 23 people, consisting 10 males and 13 females, died.”
The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Bauchi, Abubakar Najume, however, said a total of 25 people died in the accident.
He said two teachers, 22 pupils and the driver of the bus conveying them died.
Najume said, “Yes, the accident happened at Gaya in Kano State, although they are all from Bauchi State.
“Presently, those that have died are 25 – two teachers, the driver and 22 students. I think there were 16 male victims and the rest were females.
“Their vehicle had a head-on collision with a trailer. But we are still trying to get the full details.”
The Bauchi State Police Public Relations Officer, Kamal Abubakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said 23 people died in the accident.
He said, “We are still trying to get more details, but I can confirm to you that 23 people lost their lives. Their bodies have been brought back to Misau for burial.”
The spokesman for the Kano State Police Command, DSP Magaji Majia, said 22 people died.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday offered condolences to the Bauchi State Government over the death of the pupils and teachers.
The condolence message was contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
“The President prayed to Allah to accept the souls of the deceased and forgive their sins,” the statement read.