A bus driver ran over and killed 14 travelers who had been ordered by robbers to lie in the middle of a highway after their bus was robbed on its way to Nigeria's capital, police said Wednesday.
Robbers stopped an overnight bus early Tuesday and made passengers disembark and lie down on the busy highway that connects the commercial hub of Lagos to the capital of Abuja, said Kogi state police spokesman Ajayi Okasanmi. Another bus then ran over them and drove off.
"Even if he was running away from that area for safety, the driver should at least have gone to a nearby police station to report what happened," Okasanmi said. "As a human being, he should have alerted someone."
Rescuers found 14 bodies at the scene of the accident. Another man was wounded after the bus ran over his legs. He told police that his wife and son were among the dead. More than 30 other people are missing, but authorities say that they could have continued with their journeys.
Federal Road Safety Corps Sector Commander Sunday Maku said there were also reports that a truck ran over the victims after the bus, but police have not been able to confirm those reports.
More than 50 passengers boarded the bus in Lagos Monday evening to go to Abuja. It takes about 11 hours to cover the some 500 miles (more than 800 kilometers) between the two major cities, and the route is becoming more popular due to the rising cost of air travel within the West African nation.
"We have all sizes of vehicles from about 23 states traversing the road every day," Maku said.
Maku said the road is marred with potholes and lacks a median separation.
Aside from the threat of robberies, especially at night, accidents are also common on Nigeria's poorly maintained roads. Drivers often travel at high speed and overtake slower vehicles, leading to head-on collisions with high death rates.