Mob sets suspect, car ablaze

From Ali Abare, Gombe

A pickup van on Tuesday ran into an Islamic procession in Malam Sidi, headquarters of Kwami Local Government area of Gombe State, killing 12 children and injuring 19 others.

A mob intercepted the fleeing driver and set him ablaze .

The 12 children were part of a procession marking the Maulud, birthday of the holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) before the tragedy.

A witness, Abdullahi Musa told journalists that the driver was coming from Gombe on high speed when he lost control and ran into the procession staged by hundreds of Islamiya school pupils from the area, adding that over 30 children were injured and taken to the Cottage Hospital in Malam Sidi.

The driver, who attempted to flee from the scene was, however intercepted by an angry mob, burnt him and his vehicle to death, even before the police arrived.

The medical officer-in-charge of the Cottage Hospital, Malam Sidi, Dr.Ibrahim Dawaki, where the wounded were taken, told journalists that 24 injured victims were brought to the hospital, adding that 12 of them who were critically injured had been taken to Gombe for further medical attention.

Confirming the tragedy, the state police command’s spoke person, DSP Ahmed Usaman, said the accident occurred at noon when a driver travelling alone in his vehicle from Gombe to Bajoga lost control and ran into the children’s procession.

DSP Usman said eight were confirmed dead and 19 others were evacuated by the police medical team to Federal Teaching Hospital and Gombe Specialists Hospital for treatment.

He said the police are investigating, adding that they were also on the trail of those that killed the driver and burnt the car.

The police spokesman said the combined operation of military personnel and Mobile Police Rapid Response Unit has restored law and order and normalcy had since returned to the town.