Four Feared Killed In Rivers Tanker Explosion

Fuel Tanker Explosion On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Leaves 5 People Burnt To Death, Vehicles Destroyed

A tragic incident occurred on the East-West Road in Eleme, Rivers State, as a tanker carrying petroleum products exploded near the Indorama Petrochemical Company, leading to a catastrophic fire.

The disaster, which unfolded around 9:15 p.m. on Friday, resulted in the deaths of at least four individuals and the destruction of several vehicles.

The explosion took place in a section of the road notorious for its heavy traffic, specifically along the Akpojo-Onne axis, intensifying the impact on nearby vehicles and infrastructure.

According to a local resident from Akpajo in the Eleme Local Government Area who spoke with Punch, the explosion was so intense that it produced a deafening sound that could be heard from a considerable distance, indicating the severity of the blast.

The source, who gave his name as Vikko, said, “I heard a very loud sound about 20 minutes ago, and people were shouting.

“The sound came from the Petro-Chemical company area. So when I came out, I saw a thick smoke with fire from a distance.”

A Port Harcourt-based broadcast journalist, Segun Owolabi, who gave a live update from the scene aired on his company’s Radio Station (Super FM, 93.3), painted a gory picture and said he counted four bodies burnt.

Owolabi stated, “I saw four dead bodies burnt. Some may have been in the bushes because many ran away. I saw a whole stretch of vehicles burnt down, trailer burnt down.”

On what may have caused the fire, which he said was still raging, he said, “There seems to be a truck carrying substances, and it was as if it had a collision with another vehicle that may have ignited the fire. Over 20 vehicles burnt down and several people trapped.

“There may be more bodies. Oh my God this is a tragedy. A stretch of vehicles burnt.”

He, however, said three fire-fighting trucks from the Indorama Petrochemical company had arrived at the scene and were trying to put out the fire, which was still raging.

He added, “Our call right now is to other companies to assist in putting out the fire because it may overwhelm the three fire trucks by the Indorama Company.

“Some security agents are here too, but we call for security presence to ensure nothing else happens here. Also the Rivers State Government and other relevant agencies should rise to the occasion in seeing that the situation is brought under control.

“Also, the Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area should swing into action and make every necessary call he needs to make to save people of his area and others using the road.”

Owolabi said the fire was still raging when he left, with thick smoke billowing into the atmosphere.

Following the incident, it was gathered that hundreds of travellers and passengers were stranded as the road leading to Akwa Ibom, Cross River, and others was blocked.

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