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Many Feared Dead In Fatal Fuel Tanker Explosion In Kogi

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – No fewer than 23 persons including five students of the Kogi State Polytechnic and three children on their way to school were reportedly killed in a road crash – involving a petrol tanker in Felele, along the Lokoja-Abuja Highway.

The tanker, which was loaded with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC was said to have experienced brake failure around 8 am.

As a result, the tanker fell on five cars, two motorcycles, and three tricycles popularly called Keke – killing all occupants.

Those killed and burnt beyond recognition according to reports were five students of the state-owned polytechnic, three nursery school pupils, and passersby.

Similarly, a businessman identified simply as Samson, his wife, and three children were trapped.

Samson reportedly sells sewing machines in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital and set ou to drop his children off at school as he usually does.

An eyewitness accound explained that the tanker brake 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 signalling 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.

Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), who arrived the scene around 10 am came with an ambulance from Rescue/Rehabilitation team to evacuate the corpses while residents made frantic efforts to identify them.

The FRSC sector Commander Mr. Idris Fika Ali, said 23 persons were killed in the explosion while one child escaped with injuries.

In the meantime, the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has expressed shock over the fatal explosion.

The Governor’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS) Onogwu Mohammed, said,”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.”

Governor Bello also urged the students of the Kogi State Polytechnic to remain calm and peaceful, noting that he shared in their grief./

The Punch


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