TWENTY three persons have been confirmed dead including polytechnic students and children as properties were also destroyed following tanker explosions in Kogi and Rivers states on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
On Wednesday, Idris Fika Ali, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), confirmed that 23 persons were killed in an explosion that occurred at Felele town along the Lokoja-Abuja Highway in Kogi State Wednesday morning.
The incident which involved a tanker belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), loaded with premium motor spirit also known as petrol happened when the tanker driver lost the control of the vehicle due to was said brake failure at about 8 am.
The tanker was reported to have fallen on five cars, two motorcycles, and three tricycles, popularly known as Keke, killing all the passengers in those vehicles.
Some of the deceased victims who were burnt beyond recognition were five students of the Kogi State Polytechnic, three nursery school pupils, and passers-by.
Yahaya Bello, Governor of the state through Onogwu Mohammed, his Chief Press Secretary, grieved with families of the victims.
” Governor Bello is very sad to learn of the tragic loss of lives, many vehicles, property and other valuables in the petrol tanker fire while expressing his deepest condolences to the families of those affected by the ugly occurrence,” Mohammed said in a statement.
Also on Tuesday in Rivers State, a petrol-laden tanker exploded destroying a nearby building and some other properties in St. John’s area, Iwofe Road, Obio Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
An eyewitness told The Punch that the incident occurred at the early hours of Tuesday while it took the intervention of youths close to the incident area to put out the fire.