Tragic Fuel Tanker Explosion Claims Five Lives in Delta State

A devastating fuel tanker explosion has resulted in the tragic loss of five lives on the Sapele-Benin road in Delta State.

The harrowing incident occurred when a fuel-laden tanker, while maneuvering through the deteriorated sections of the highway near the Oghara area, lost control, toppled over, spilled its volatile cargo onto the road, and was subsequently engulfed in flames.

In an official statement released on Sunday in the Warri region of the state, DSP Bright Edafe, the Public Relations Officer of the State Police, confirmed the calamitous event.

The ferocious blaze, which ensued from the explosion, left a trail of destruction in its wake. A total of eight buses, two tankers, five trailers, two cars, and one motorcycle were consumed by the uncontrollable inferno.

The unfortunate incident transpired in the early hours of Sunday, January 10, 2023, at approximately 2:00 a.m., at the Ugbenu Koko Junction along the Warri-Benin Road.

The ill-fated tanker, laden with PMS (Premium Motor Spirit), was en route to Benin when it met its tragic fate.

Regrettably, some individuals, primarily youths, seized the opportunity presented by the spilled fuel, hastily attempting to collect it in jerry cans and various containers from the adjacent swamp.

In a cruel twist of fate, an explosion occurred while they were engaged in this perilous activity, unleashing a firestorm that swiftly consumed the entire vicinity.

The resultant firestorm wrought havoc, reducing multiple properties to ashes, including the overturned tanker, eight buses of diverse make, two tankers, five trailers, two motorcycles, one Siena Space bus, and one ‘C’ Class Mercedes Benz car.

Tragically, it also claimed the lives of five young individuals who had ventured to collect the spilled fuel.

The intense blaze obscured the registration numbers of the affected vehicles, rendering them unreadable. Subsequently, the scene underwent a thorough investigation, and the bodies of the deceased victims were conveyed to the mortuary at Oghara General Hospital.

In response to this heart-wrenching incident, the Delta State Police Command, under the leadership of CP Wale Abass, extends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

CP Abass expressed deep dismay at the recurring nature of such incidents, especially involving the youth, emphasizing the need to learn from past tragedies and curb the insatiable pursuit of personal gain.

He urged Nigerians to exercise caution and abstain from activities near oil spills due to the grave dangers they pose to lives and property.

The collaborative efforts of the Oghara Police Division and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in the Ethiopia West Local Government Area (LGA) are currently focused on the removal of obstacles from the road to ensure the unhindered flow of traffic.

CP Abass also commended the Federal Road Safety Commission for its cooperation in maintaining the safety of motorists in Delta State.

This unfortunate incident serves as a somber reminder of the profound risks associated with oil spill-related activities and underscores the urgent need for heightened awareness and caution.

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