A tanker conveying petroleum product fell and exploded on Wednesday along the ever-busy Benin/Sapele Expressway, leaving a number of persons burnt to death.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports the incident occurred at about 11 am around Koko junction, close to the boundary between Delta and Edo States.
According to an eyewitness, the petrol tanker fell, and a number of persons quickly rushed to the scene to start scooping fuel when the explosion occurred.
The eyewitness told TNG that the victims of the tanker explosion were burnt beyond recognition and that the explosion affected no fewer than 5 vehicles that were gutted by fire.
A source told TNG that officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) had since evacuated the dead bodies and that survivors have been taken to an undisclosed hospital.
“From Sapele to Benin, the road is just too bad, before and after the Oghara bridge is terrible, from Koko junction to Ologbo, the road is disastrous. That is why tankers and big vehicles keep falling.
“We have been complaining about the bad potholes on that road for a very long time. If that road was in good condition, the tanker wouldn’t have fell,” the source told TNG.
Meanwhile, FRSC Delta Sector Commander, Corps Commander Godwin A. H. has officially addressed the incident and confirmed the number of persons affected in the explosion.
According to the FRSC Sector Commander, the petrol tanker caught fire and exploded when a motorcycle got very close to the fallen tanker.
He confirmed that 3 persons died instantly when the explosion occurred and that 3 others sustained severe injuries. He, however, said only 4 vehicles were affected by the explosion.
“Yes, a petrol tanker had an accident and fell down along that axis and the local populace were scooping fuel from the tanker before it caught fire when one motorcycle got very close to them and when that motorcycle caught fire, the tanker caught fire.
“But it has been put off. The fire has been put off by men of the fire service. The obstruction has been moved away from the road. Six people were involved. Three lost their lives and three sustained injuries. That is the casualties. Four vehicles were affected: the tanker, two other vehicles and then the motorcycle,” the Delta Sector Commander told TNG.