Five die in Sapele-Benin road tanker explosion

Five die in Sapele-Benin road tanker explosion


No fewer than five people have reportedly died in a fuel tanker explosion along dilapidated Sapele-Benin road in Delta state.

It was gathered that a fuel-laden tanker lost control and fell, spilling its content on the road, and sparked fire while manoeuvring the failed portions of the highway around the Oghara axis.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bright Edafe, on Sunday, confirmed the incident in a statement made available to journalists in the Warri axis of the state.

Edafe said eight buses, two tankers, five trailers, two cars, and one motorcycle were burnt completely as the fire raged uncontrollably during the explosion.

The statement read, “In the early hours of today (Sunday), 1/10/2023 0200hrs, the Command recorded a tragic incident where a tanker laden with PMS being driven towards Benin along Warri – Benin Road fell down upon getting to Ugbenu Koko Junction. Its content spilled into the nearby swamp, and the spillage attracted a couple of youths who took advantage of the incident and started scooping the fuel into jerry cans and other containers.

“While they were at it, an explosion erupted and the fire from the explosion engulfed the whole area.

“The fire claimed the lives of five persons amongst the youths who had come to scoop the spilled fuel and also combusted several properties which include the following: the fallen tanker, eight buses of different makes, two Tankers, five Trailers, two Motorcycles, one Siena Space bus and one ‘C’ Class Mercedes Benz car.

“Due to the fire, the registration numbers of all these affected vehicles were not clearly visible. At the event of this outburst, the scene was visited, and the bodies of the victims were evacuated to Oghara General Hospital’s mortuary.

“In a bid to clear the road of obstructions efforts are being made by the men of Oghara Police Division, in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission {FRSC} at Ethiope West LGA to ensure the free flow of traffic.

“In the light of this tragic incident, the Delta State Police Command, CP Wale Abass extends his condolence to the families of those who lost their lives in this unfortunate event.

“He further expressed his displeasure at the inexorable perversity of Nigerians, especially the youths. He stated that it is sad that we never learn from past occurrences, since this isn’t the first time such an incident has happened. Nonetheless, he appeals that Nigerians should do away with greed and avoid scenes where there is an occurrence of oil spillages as it poses a serious threat to their lives and the lives of others.

“The CP also appreciates the Federal Road safety for working hand in hand with the Command in assuring convenience to all road users in Delta state.”