By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
A tanker Friday exploded along Owerri/Onitsha express road particularly at Irete, Owerri West local government area of Imo state, after it was said to have off loaded premium motor spirit, PMS, to one of the filling stations along the road.
The explosion according to report killed a woman and injured three persons while rescue operation was still ongoing at the time of filling this report.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that the incident happened as the tanker was negotiating to make U-turn when a bus carrying pineapple collided with the tanker and it exploded. The passengers of the bus were the ones that were affected mostly including the woman.
The incident which was said to have happened around 11:05 am, attracted hundreds of passersby also led to heavy gridlock along the ever busy Owerri/Onitsha highway.
He said: “We are standing here watching the tanker struggling to turn from this point it wasted time because the vehicle was too long. While we are even helping to direct the tanker before you know it, a bus heading to Owerri to off load bunches of pineapple now hit the tanker and it exploded like a bomb.”
Confirming the incident, the Director of Fire Service in Imo state, Japhate Okereafor, said: “We are there and we can confirm that one person has died and three persons injured. It was a tanker explosion which caught fire. The tanker was on motion when it exploded.
“At this point, we have effectively battle the incident and controlled it. My men are ground and we are doing our best to restore calmness in the area.”