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Ondo mourns as 8 fuel scoopers die in tanker explosion

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ondo State, on Monday, said eight persons perished in the petrol tanker explosion that occurred in the commercial…

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ondo State, on Monday, said eight persons perished in the petrol tanker explosion that occurred in the commercial town of Ore, in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state.

Daily Trust had reported that a petrol tanker laden with 33,000 litres of fuel crashed while the driver was manoeuvring his way on the Benin-Ore-Lagos Expressway on Sunday.

Briefing journalists on the incident, the State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr Ezekiel SonAllah, revealed that the casualties were fuel scoopers who had swooped on the fuel tanker immediately it crashed into a ditch by the roadside.

“The accident was caused by loss of concentration and speed limit violation on the part of the driver involved. Eight people died.

“The driver and motor boy of the vehicle escaped unhurt, but the eight villagers scooping fuel got burnt in the act. The dead bodies were taken to General Hospital Ore Morge, our men were on the ground,” he stated.

However, the figure of the casualties given by Mr SonAllah contradicted the earlier accounts of those who witnessed the tanker explosion.

Some of the witnesses had explained that over 20 persons including three children, and a pregnant woman were among the casualties of the explosion.

Meanwhile, the Ondo State government has mourned the victims of the petrol tanker explosion.

In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the government said it was devastated by the unfortunate tragedy.

The statement read in part, “This is a most horrendous way to die. We are shocked and traumatized as we express the depth of our grief for the victims of the explosion. The state would reach out to the victims’ families who are affected by these avoidable deaths. Whatever circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident must be discouraged.

“This is one tragedy too many and it is our joint responsibility to ensure this does not happen again.”

Similarly, the lawmaker representing Odigbo 1 Constituency, Mr Olatunji Ifabiyi, in his condolence message on Monday, described the incident as unfortunate.

He warned those having pleasure in scooping fuel from fallen tankers to desist from such act to avoid early grave among residents.

In a related development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State described the incident as unfortunate and touching.

The party in a statement issued by its spokesman, Alex Kalejaiye, urged Nigerians to be more careful with explosive items, no matter the level of temptation.

“Times are hard, no doubt, but we are very certain that the situation will begin to relax very soon. We need to stay safe, and in good health to keep hope alive,” the party said.

 

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