By JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, Calabar
At least one person was feared dead and over 15 vehicles got burnt in an inferno caused by a fuel tanker which veered into Addax Petroleum terminal office in Calabar,CrossRiverState shortly after loading the products at a farm tank alongMarina Street in Calabar.
The inferno which caused serious damage to the facilities at the Addax petroleum company yesterday was however put under control by the Quick Intervention Squad of the state Emergency Response Centre.
Eye witnesses at the scene, Mr. Paulinus Effiong and Mr. Emmanuel Effiong told newsmen that the driver of the tanker which was coming from the tank farm Flower Mill side suddenly lost his bearing while trying to negotiate a hilly T-junction with the product in front of the office.
According to the eye witnesses, when the tanker loaded with the petroleum product fell off into Addax building and exploded, the fire caught one trailer and other vehicles that were parked along the Addax premises leaving properties worth several millions of naira destroyed.
Reacting to the incident, the Cross River State Security Adviser, Mr. Rekpene Bassey described the incident as unfortunate coming at the time the nation is still mourning the over 160 persons that lost their lives in the ill fated Dana air crash last Sunday.
Bassey said, “It is so unfortunate that this is happening at this time as you can see, the quick intervention squad and other security agencies are on ground including the state fire service. We don’t know the cause of the inferno but we are going to investigate to ascertain the cause and what transpire.”
Also speaking, the state Director of Fire Service, Mr. Sylvester Theo who attributed the incident to electrical cum fuel fire disaster, warned tanker drivers to always heed to advise by avoiding unnecessary negotiation especially at dangerous corners of roads.
Theo who said that the timely intervention of the men of fire service helped to quell the inferno noted that such accident would have been averted if the driver had driven with caution.
Efforts made to get the reaction of the management of Addax Petroleun could not yield any result as all the members of the staff that were contacted kept sealed lips.