A tanker fire that erupted on the Ogidi axis of Awka – Onitsha Expressway in Anambra State has claimed the lives of two persons; injured a number of others and razed 14 buses along the highway.
Also, other properties worth several millions were consumed by the inferno which occurred around the popular International Building Materials Market in Idemmili North Local Government Area.
Sources said that the fire emanated from a tanker conveying a petroleum product which fell into drainage on Sunday evening. They said that it sparked fire after spilling its content.A resident of the area, who claimed to be at the scene when the incident happened, said the tanker was stationary when another articulated vehicle suspected to have lost brakes rammed into it.
“Several luxury buses parked around the area immediately went up in flames; shops and buildings within the area were also not left out too. The fire was too much that it was difficult for fire service officers to battle”, he said.
Chief Fire Officer in the state, Martin Agbili, confirmed the ugly development to newsmen, adding that properties were equally lost to the fire.
He said that the fire could have escalated to other parts of the area if not for the timely arrival of his men and assistance from other stations, including the one inside the market.
Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO),DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, also confirmed the incident, saying that the driver of the vehicle was burnt beyond recognition.
He said that policemen have cordoned off the area to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the sad situation.