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Tanker explosion kills four, injures 40 others in Benue


About four persons were at the weekend burnt to ashes and more than 40 others left with varying degrees of burns at Gbatse settlement of Ushongo local government area, in Benue State when a petroleum tanker laden with Premium Motor Spirit, known as petrol, exploded.

The Guardian revealed that many houses located near the scene of the explosion as well as motorcycles were not spared by the inferno. Gbatse is located in-between Akerior village and Ushongo town along Ugbema-Adikpo road.

It was gathered from some of the deceased families that the inferno, which started at about 9:30a.m. burnt the bodies beyond recognition while those inflicted with severe burns were immediately rushed to the nearby Ostra-Gum Clinic in Ushongo town for primary care before some of the surviving victims were moved to Benue State University Teaching Hospital on the directive of Governor Samuel Ortom for treatment.

The governor it was equally learnt to have pledged to foot the medical bills of the victims. The Guardian further gathered from the locals in the area that a policeman, who arrived the scene early, fired two gunshots in the air to scare people away from scooping petrol when the tanker caught fire and exploded.

When The Guardian visited the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi yesterday, not less than 12 victims were being attended to by a team of doctors. The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital was also seen taking the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Cecilia Ojobo, round the Accident and Emergency ward for briefing.

In a chat after going round the emergency ward, the CMD, Dr. Terlumun Swende, expressed disgust over the incidence, noting that the victims were really in serious pains occasioned by the burns.Swende said the medical team of the hospital was doing their best to save the lives of the victims even as he noted with dismay that the accident happened at the time when other medical staff under the guise of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) were still on strike in the hospital.

In this article:
Terlumun Swende
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