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Many feared dead, houses burnt as tanker explodes in Benue

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Many people have been feared dead in Agudo village of Benue State yesterday when a petrol tanker exploded. Many houses were also consumed in the explosion.

Agudo village is in Tarka local government area on Makurdi – Gboko federal highway at a bend in Benue. Tarka is the ancestral home of the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs Senator George Akume.

An eyewitness, who is an indigene of Tarka, Justice Anzembe told newsmen on phone that the tanker, which was heading towards Gboko from Makurdi attempted to wade through a bush burning on the highway, causing an explosion.

The incident, which caught residents of the sleepy Agudo community unawares, also destroyed many houses and property.

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Bush burning in Benue is a way of life, especially during dry season where people go after bush meat.

As at press time it was a chaotic situation in the area, causing massive gridlock on the federal highway.

Meanwhile, the Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Aliyu Baba, confirmed the tanker explosion but said there was no casualty, adding that he had sent a rescue team to the scene of the incident.

He promised to get back with an update.

Also, the state police command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene said, “The incident at Takar happened but no casualties. It was a lone accident of a tanker. The police is in control of the area as we speak.”

It would be recalled that more than 60 people died last year July when a Premium Motor Spirit-laden tanker fell and exploded at Ahumbe village on the Otukpo/Makurdi Road.

Meanwhile, the FRSC on Tuesday confirmed the death of one person, while three others sustained various degrees of injuries in a petrol tanker explosion at a welder’s workshop in Amawbia area of Awka in Anambra State.

The FRSC Sector Commander, Mr Andrew Kumapayi, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka, said the explosion was caused by welding repairs being carried out on the tanker.

“An explosion occurred at a welders’ workshop around Amawbia Bridge in Awka about 3 pm from a tanker loaded with petrol.

“The explosion occurred when a welder in the workshop was carrying out welding repairs on the tanker loaded with fuel.

“The welder was confirmed dead, while three people who were around the scene of the explosion sustained various degrees of burns and have been taken to the hospital.

“The body of the deceased had been deposited at the mortuary,” he said.

Kumapayi said the state fire service had, however, succeeded in putting out the fire from the explosion.


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