By Peter Duru, Makurdi
About 30 persons were on Monday killed while over 60 suffered various degrees of burns while scooping Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as fuel from a loaded truck that skidded off the road and fell at Ahumber village in Gwer East local government area of Benue state.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that the PMS ladened truck which was traveling towards Makurdi skidded off the road and fell while the driver was trying to avoid multiple potholes on that portion of the road.
According to him, “shortly after the truck fell, the people in the village ran towards the spot with buckets to scoop the fuel that was spilling from the truck, they probably thought it was kerosine of diesel.
“It was while this was going on that the truck exploded into a huge flame which also affected an oncoming loaded bus heading towards Otukpo roasting about 30 persons to death but more than 60 others sustained serious burns and many of them may not survive.”
When contacted, the Benue State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp, FRSC, Mr. Aliu Baba who confirmed the incident said his men were on ground to evacuate the victims to various hospitals in the area.
“At the moment we have recovered about 10 corpses, over 50 persons were affected and they are receiving treatment in some hospitals in the area.
“Though for now we are yet to ascertain the real number of the dead but the fire is still raging and oozing from the nuzzles of the tanker.
“Unfortunately the tanker fell in a neighbourhood that had shops were people sold goods. They all lost their goods to the fire but men of the fire service are battling to put out the fire.”
At the time of this report, the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene said the command was yet to get full details of the incident.