TRAGEDY STRUCK AS TANKER EXPLOSION KILLS MANY IN LOKOJA
No fewer than 23 persons have been killed in an auto crash involving a petrol tanker at Felele, along Lokoja-Abuja Highway.
The petroleum laden tanker belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was said to have had brakes failure around 8 am. The tanker fell on five cars, two motorcycles, and three tricycles popularly known as Keke, killing all occupants.
Among those killed and burnt beyond recognition were five students of the Kogi State Polytechnic, three nursery school pupils on their way to school, and passersby.
Also killed was a businessman identified as Samson, his wife, and three children. Samson reportedly sells sewing machines in Lokoja and went to drop his children off at school as he usually does.
An eyewitness said that the brakes of the tanker failed during an attempt to manoeuvre and in the process, fell on its side, trapping five vehicles trying to overtake it.
“I was about to cross the road when I noticed the tanker driver signaling to motorists to steer clear, but before you could say, Jack Robinson, the tanker was on its side, falling on all vehicles beside it.”
“Immediately, the tanker fell, the fire started and incinerated all vehicles along its way,” he said.
Men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, who arrived around 10 am, came with an ambulance from Rescue/Rehabilitation team to evacuate the corpses while residents made distraught efforts to identify them.
The sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp, Idris Fika Ali, said 23 persons were killed in the explosion while one child escaped with injuries.
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has expressed his sadness over the ugly incident. He also urged the students of the Kogi State Polytechnic to remain calm and peaceful, stating that he shared in their grief.