Five killed, houses burnt in Edo tanker explosion
A man died and about four houses were gutted by fire yesterday morning at Upper Mission junction after a tanker laden with petrol fell, exploded and spilled its contents on the Benin-Auchi expressway, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Council of Edo State.
The explosion, which occurred at about 7:00a.m, left no fewer than four other persons injured, as the ensuing fire destroyed property worth millions of naira.
According to eyewitnesses, the tanker driver had attempted to make a U-turn, due to a diversion on the road, which is under reconstruction, when it fell and spilled its content.
The driver was said to have fled the scene immediately and some residents in the area rushed to the spot to scoop fuel into jerry cans.
The tanker suddenly exploded about 30 minutes later, allegedly due to a spark from the exhaust pipe of a car.
One of the eyewitnesses, Mrs. Deborah Afudeli, whose goods were destroyed by the fire, explained that the fire spread rapidly and destroyed valuables before it was extinguished.
“My daughter called me in the morning that a tanker fell in front of my shop and spilled its contents on the road. Immediately I ended the call, I heard a loud explosion.
“Before I could get to my store, the fire had already engulfed everything. I do not know if anyone died because I was crying over the destruction of my store.”
Imafidon Iyoma, who owns a paint store, said his goods, worth over N2.5 million were lost to the inferno.
“Someone called to inform me that my shop was on fire and I rushed down to see all I have laboured for destroyed to ashes. I don’t have much to say other than for the government to investigate the owners of the truck, which had on it NNPC logo.”
The director of the Edo State Fire Service, Mr. Franklin Agbonlahor, said the fire was extinguished shortly after he received a distress call at about 8:30a.m.
He attributed the fire to the failure of the driver of the car to heed to instructions of some persons, who tried to flag him down when the tanker fell.
“A lot of people sustained various degree of injuries. On the interim, there are about six vehicles including the truck, and several lock-up stores that were burnt.”
In another development, a car accident, which occured on Tuesday evening has left at least four people dead. The ghastly car crash occured along Benin bypass between Agbor and Upper Sakponba.