Home Health Rivers tanker explosion claims five Lives, incinerates 70 Vehicles

Rivers tanker explosion claims five Lives, incinerates 70 Vehicles

Rivers tanker explosion claims five Lives, incinerates 70 Vehicles

Five people have been confirmed dead and over 70 cars burnt after a tanker laden with petroleum products burst into flames Friday night on a section of the East-West Road, Eleme in Rivers state.
Initially, it was reported that no fewer than four persons were feared killed following the multiple explosions, which left several passengers stranded.
Some of the victims of the multiple explosions were said to have been trapped in their vehicles as the fire raged.
An eyewitness who gave his name as Baridi told our correspondent that the incident occurred after a petrol-laden tanker collided with a heavy-duty truck, spilling its contents and subsequently bursting into flames.
He said the fire spread to a long stretch of vehicles plying the Akpajo-Onne Road, which had been experiencing gridlock due to ongoing construction.
Baridi said, “You know that because of the bad road, there is no alternative route and so, many vehicles were caught in the fire. Some people inside their vehicles who tried to escape the fire were trapped and died.”
A motorist, Precious, who claimed to be driving on the road at the time said, “I was approaching Akpajo bridge when I saw a hold-up. While I and other drivers trying to move further, we saw people running and shouting fire, fire.
“So it was difficult for me to even reverse my vehicle. We meandered and packed somewhere. Only for us to come back and see that more than 100 vehicles were burnt. There are people burnt in their vehicles and some people running were also caught in the inferno.”
He blamed the tragedy on the reconstruction of the road which, according to him, had worsened the gridlock.
“Yes they are working on the road which is good but they should also create access. Not the way they are doing it. First, they should be fast about it and secondly, the contractor should know that vehicles are using the road. Otherwise, this would not have happened,” he added.
Confirming the casualty figure, the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, in an interview with our correspondent on Saturday, said, “For now about five persons are dead. The Commissioner of Police and his team were on the ground last night to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order.”
Meanwhile, a source from the Government House, Port Harcourt told our correspondent that the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, would be visiting the scene of the explosion to see things for himself on Saturday.
Already, the State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, with men from the Eleme Police Division and officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps had been on the ground since Friday night.
Our correspondent gathered that a team of firemen from the Indorama Petrochemical Company, assisted by firemen from other private firms battled for about two hours before the fire was put out.
Recall that in March 2023, no fewer than 12 persons were confirmed dead following an early morning explosion at a crude oil tapping point in Rumuekpe community, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.

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