2 killed, 8 injured in fuel tanker fire in Rivers
By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
Two persons were, Friday, killed while 8 others sustained serious injuries when a fuel tanker fell and burst into flame at the Mbiama Park on the East-West road in Rivers State, some distance away from the popular Mbiama junction leading to Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital.
The death toll it was learnt could rise as rescuers searched through the charred vehicles at the scene of the accident.
Also several buildings and cars were consumed in the inferno.
The incident it was learnt occurred at about 7am when the fuel tanker with Lagos number plate XS 942 KJA reportedly coming from the Delta State end was attempting to avoid a bad spot and skidded off the road into the park before falling on its side.
It was gathered that the ill-fated tanker spilled some of its content and burst into flame ostensibly triggered by naked flame from nearby restaurants in the park.
Eight of the victims were said to be on danger list due to the severity of the burnt they suffered while the driver of the tanker and his conductor were believed to have fled the scene.
Eyewitnesses blamed the tragic incident on the deplorable state of the road saying if the road were in good condition the accident would have been averted.
The chairman of Ahoada West council area, Mr. Awori Miller, who rushed to the scene of the incident blamed the tragic accident and other tanker related inferno on the route on the deplorable state of the East-West road.
The visibly disturbed council boss who called on the federal government to help fix the road however assured that the council would settle the medical bill of the fire victims.
But a senior road safety official at the scene, Egwim Theophilus blamed the accident on recklessness on the part of the driver.
Sadly, the accident is coming barely two weeks after the Catholic Bishop of Bomadi Vicariate, Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo called on President Goodluck Jonathan to fix the ailing road with a view to curbing the rising spate of accidents and loss of human lives.
The cleric like other concerned Niger Deltans had while lamenting the deplorable state of the road said, “Mr. President, save our lives, construct our roads, people are dying on the East-West road everyday, trailers and tankers are falling