September 2, 2014

19-year-old burnt to death in abandoned bus in Lagos

Sulaimon Balla, a 19-year-old bus conductor was burnt to death on Wednesday when the abandoned bus he called home for the night went up in flames.

The tragic accident occurred at 2 a.m. on the fated morning on Raufu Alaio Street in Agege Lagos. The bus, residents said, had been abandoned for weeks and a few street kids were known to spend the night aboard the abandoned vehicle.

Balla went to sleep on the bus on Tuesday night, but was burnt beyond recognition the following morning.

One resident said the fire started at about 2 a.m. and was extinguished two hours later by residents. The process was slow as they had difficulty getting water.

“We didn’t initially know that someone had slept in the bus when we set out to put out the fire. It was when the fire had been extinguished that we discovered that somebody slept in it,” the resident said.

“He was burnt beyond recognition and he was identified by a portion of his shirt which had not been torched by fire.”

One of Balla’s friends, Michael Sobande, was more suspicious of the accident. He said Balla had slept in the bus for seven weeks and a sudden combustion was not plausible.

“I sensed that something sinister might happen anytime soon. I dreamt some days ago that I was tied down in that same vehicle and since then I stopped sleeping inside it. I told him about it and I don’t know why he returned there.”

Balla’s body was retrieved and buried before police were alerted about the incident. The Punch reported that some street youths had stopped reporters from gathering any visual evidence of the sence.

Lagos state police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the incident, but said police officers could hardly investigate the accident as family members of the deceased have refused to file one.

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