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Five persons die in Benue petrol tanker explosion

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Benue State

Five dead bodies have so far been recovered following a tanker explosion at Oshigbudu in Agatu Local Council of Benue State.

A witness told The Guardian that a tanker, laden with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), yesterday, fell at the Oshigbudu–Obagaji junction, spilling the content towards a nearby filling station along Oweto axis and went up in flames.

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The witness reported that the fire caused a terrible explosion that razed shops and residential buildings within the vicinity.

Narrating the ordeal to The Guardian via telephone, the Deputy Chairman of Agatu Local Council, John Ikulono, said the incident put Oshigbudu community in a terrible situation.

Ikulono said though he could not at the time of the report say the exact number of casualties, five bodies had so far been recovered from the scene.

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His words: “The fire is still raging and many houses have been affected. With the situation now, we cannot ascertain the exact number of persons who have lost their lives or even houses that have been destroyed by the explosion.

“The situation is a helpless one because there is no fire service available to put out the fire and it has continued to spread. We have made contact with Otukpo fire service, but they said their vehicle broke down. We are calling on government at the state or federal level to come to our aid and save the situation.”

Meanwhile, Samuel Godday, representing Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, has expressed sadness over the inferno.

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Godday, in a statement yesterday, described the incident as a sad moment for Oshigbudu and Agatu.

While sympathising with the families that lost loved ones and property to the unfortunate incident, he prayed God to grant eternal peace to the dead.

He called on the Federal Fire Service and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to establish an emergency fire station within the constituency, considering the recent increase in vehicular and human traffic through the Oweto–Abuja route.

As part of his legislative duties, he promised to do everything within his reach to attract the Federal Government’s attention to the area within the shortest time possible to cushion the effect of the tragedy.

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