The family of some 17 bus passengers have been thrown into mourning.

They left their respective homes hoping to get to their destination safely but fate had other plans for them.

The 18-seater bus conveying them from Orlu town to Owerri, the state capital, had a head on collision with a truck.

The truck, which was on its way to Orlu from the state capital, was conveying diesel.

The tragedy, according to an eyewitness simply identified as Paschal, occurred on Njaba bridge along the Owerri-Orlu expressway.

He said, “Over 20 people lost their lives on Njaba bridge after a trailer conveying diesel lost control.

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“It rammed into an 18-seater bus and, sadly, all the occupants of the bus were burnt alive.”

The state Police public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem, said, “Immediately we learnt of the incident, the command quickly contacted professional fire fighters.

“They are at the scene battling to extinguish the inferno. We don’t have the casualty figure yet. The situation is being managed.”

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