Death toll reaches 18 after bus falls into river in southwest Nigeria

LAGOS, NIGERIA (BNO NEWS) -- Eighteen people are now believed to have been killed after a passenger bus veered off a road and plunged into a river in southwestern Nigeria late last week, local authorities said on Monday afternoon. Only three of the passengers survived the accident.

The accident happened at around 11:30 a.m. local time on Friday when the bus veered off the Ijebu-Ode-Ore Expressway near Ogbere and plunged into the J4 River. The bus was carrying a total of 21 people, including 19 women and two men, who were on a trip from the capital Lagos to Benin.

Three women who were thrown from the bus survived the accident while the other passengers remained trapped as the bus sank in the river. "The details were gotten from one of the survivors who was flung out of the bus before it submerged in the river," a spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said.

The bodies of only twelve people had been recovered by Sunday and authorities believe the remaining six were also killed. "The vehicle that fell into the river has been pulled out of the river," the spokesperson said. "Twelve people were brought out dead, comprising of one male and eleven females."

The three survivors remain hospitalized at Opeyemi Hospital Ore.

The cause of Friday's accident was not immediately known, but police believe the driver of the bus fell asleep behind the wheel, causing the vehicle to veer off the road and into the river. Road accidents are common in Nigeria, many of which are attributed to reckless driving, aging vehicles and poorly maintained roads.

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