At least 11 people yesterday lost their lives when a fuel tanker exploded at the Koko axis of the Benin-Sapele Expressway in the Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State. It was learnt that the tanker was moving the product from the Benin outlet of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to a nearby town in Delta State when it exploded. A witness, Sir Willy Osadolo, said the tanker exploded about 11a.m. He said: “There was a great fire allovertheplaceandpeoplestarted running helter-skelter. But some people were unable to escape.”
A pregnant woman, who identified herself as Oghenekevwen, said the tanker exploded suddenly. She said: “The fire was so ferocious that it burnt eight persons standing and running with burnt clothes. I wept when a man fell with fire all over his body on the road and died in agony.” Oghenekevwen said the number of victims who were burnt in the fire as it grew out of hand when the petrol started to gush out of the tank, could not be ascertained.