A tanker explosion in Felele, Lokoja, Kogi State, on Wednesday morning has killed 23 people, including school children, polytechnic students, and others.
Seven school children were said to be among the 23 victims, while the rests were 10 adult males and six females, according to reports.
Among the victims were also five students and staff of the Kogi State Polytechnic located few meters away from the scene of the incident.
The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Idris Ali, confirming the accident said the victims were burnt beyond recognition.
According to him, 24 people were involved in the accident which occurred some minutes before 8 a.m., and that only one child survived with a minor injury.
He disclosed that 10 vehicles, including five cars, three tricycles, and two motorcycles were also burnt in the inferno.
Ali said that the corpses had been deposited at the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, where the only survivor was also receiving treatment.
It was gathered that the driver of the tanker conveying petrol through the Felele route, along the Lokoja-Abuja Road, lost control around GT Plazaas, the truck rammed into a tricycle and oncoming vehicles before going up in flames.
An eyewitness was quoted as saying that the brakes of the tanker failed in an attempt to maneuver and in the process, fell on its side, trapping five vehicles trying to overtake it.
According to the eye witness, he was about to cross the road when he noticed the tanker driver signaling to motorists to steer clear, but that before one could say anything, the tanker was on its side, falling on all vehicles beside it.
He added that immediately, the tanker fell, the fire started and incinerated all vehicles along its way.
Gov. Yahaya Bello Reacts
Meanwhile, the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has expressed shock over the unfortunate fatal tanker explosion which took place in the early hours of Wednesday 23, September, around the Felele area of Lokoja metropolis.
In a statement by Onogwu Muhammed, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, the Governor is very sad to learn of the tragic loss of lives in the petrol tanker explosion.
Governor Bello in the statement expressed his deepest condolences to the family of those affected by the ugly incidence.
He said, “this is sadly the greatest tragedies the state has witnessed in recent times. The unfortunate accident is a sad development. I share the feeling of those who lost their loved ones in this incident”.
The Governor also urged the students of Kogi State Polytechnic to remain calm and peaceful, stating that he equally shared in their grieving moment over the death of some of their colleagues in the disaster”.
Boy survives Lokoja tanker explosion
A little boy escaped death with minor injuries. He has been treated and taken home by his parents, the FRSC sector commander in Lokoja, Idris Fika, said.
He added that some corps officers have been deployed to the scene for traffic maintenance.
“They will ensure that the unhindered movement is restored back to the place,” Mr. Fika said.