Death toll rises to 10 in Saturday’s incident
A petrol tanker yesterday went up in flames at a filling station along Nnewi-Okigwe expressway, Nnewi, Anambra State. This is coming barely two days after seven persons were reported dead in another patrol tanker fire incident in Awka, the state capital.
Although no life was lost in the incident, workers and customers at the filling station were said to have escaped by the whiskers when the fire started. The station manager, Mr. Okeke Patrick, said the incident occurred when the tanker was discharging its product while customers were being attended to.
He said: “We were discharging fuel when suddenly we saw fire. We called the fire fighters immediately and they came after 20 minutes from Nnewi fire station and put out the fire, which burnt the patrol tank and touched the office block but nobody died or got injured.”
Commander of the Nnewi fire station, Mr. S.E. Ijezie, said his men succeeded in controlling the inferno from escalating following a distress call. He added that he had severally warned filling station owners to desist from simultaneous selling and discharging of products.
Meanwhile, the death toll in last Saturday’s tanker explosion at Amawbia roundabout, Anambra, has risen to 10 following the death of three victims who were rushed to Nwalusi Hospital, Amawbia for emergency attention after receiving severe burnt.
When the situation was brought under control, seven persons were reported dead while three others were taken to hospital. The fire also burnt 16 vehicles, 23 shops and 12 buildings including the State Fire Service Station and some facilities at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, where the governor and some aides are residing.
The governor and some residents of the Governor’s Lodge had escaped death by the whiskers as the midnight tanker explosion lost razed the fence of the lodge. The fire also burnt down EEDC step-down electricity brick pillars at the wall behind the lodge and traffic lights/streetlights in the area.
The tanker with registration number BWR 440YQ was loaded with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), summersaulted and emptied its content when its rear tyre hit the roundabout landmark while trying to negotiate a bend at the Eke-Oyibo Amawbia roundabout.
More victims who got second-degree burns are still battling for survival in different hospitals. The new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mustapha Dandaura, who took over from Garba Baba Umar, yesterday visited the scene where he called for decongestion of the roundabout and relocation of the police command and business stalls around the roundabout to forestall future recurrence. According to him, the case is still under investigation and effort is being intensified to get the truck driver arrested.