Scores of women and and children on Friday escaped the pangs of death by whiskers when a Coaster Bus they were riding in to Ebonyi State for a prayer meeting caught fire in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State.
The incident which took place along Innosi Onira/Boromew roundabout along Enugu-Onitsha expressway drew the attention of passersby who helped to evacuate the occupants of the vehicle before it bursted into flames.
According to an occupant of the vehicle, Mrs Virginia Ogbuogwu who claimed to be sitting beside the driver, many of them sustained various degrees of injury.
She said, “I suddenly noticed the driver was feeling uneasy after stopping at intervals and checking the dashboard.
“Immediately he saw smoke coming out from the bus, he quickly stopped, quietly alighted and disappeared without saying a word to us.”
Another victim, Mrs Paulina Una who sustained injury from the incident, said they were taken unawares by the incident which she said occurred in a matter of seconds.
While regretting that their valuables were all destroyed in the inferno, she praised God for saving their lives and for bringing one Mr. Ifechukwuneme Okoye to their rescue.
Mr. Okoye who played the role of the good Samaritan in his reaction said he was attracted to the bus by one of the victims who was beckoning for help through the window.
He added, “I quickly ran to the scene, broke the glasses with my hands and rescued them.”
Items lost to the inferno include mobile phones, foodstuff, cash, etc.