From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi and Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba
No fewer than three people were confirmed dead and others injured after a tanker fully loaded with petrol exploded in Amoke community of Apa Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State, yesterday morning.
The explosion, which was said to have occurred as a result of brake failure, is happening barely two months after two similar explosions in Oshigbudu in neighbouring Agatu LGA of the state, in April, this year.
Sources from the area disclosed that the oil tanker loaded with petrol exploded at exactly 7:15am, adding that it exploded three metres before the heart of Ugbokpo, the headquarters of Apa LGA, Benue State.
“It is happening a few weeks after two similar explosions in Oshigbudu, Agatu LGA, which resulted in the death of 11 people, injury to seven others, destruction of houses and properties worth millions of naira.
“Apa and Agatu both share a border and both host the newly constructed federal road,” our source who simply gave his name as Olikita’s said.
He explained further that the cause of incessant explosions along the road was still unknown, but opined that it could be as a result of the narrowness of the road and several sharp bends on the road.
When contacted, Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in charge of Benue, Yakubu Mohammad, confirmed the report, saying three persons, including the driver of the tanker, lost their lives in the accident.
Mohammad, who blamed the accident on brake failure, however, noted that the fire, which raged for some hours, had already been out under control at the time of this report.
Also, an explosion caused by the use of kerosene suspected to have been adulterated, has killed two siblings in Aba, Abia State.
Their father, a motor transport operator, simply identified as Stephen, from Item in Bende Local Government Area of the State, was said to have received serious burns, alongside other neighbours, in the unfortunate incident.
Eyewitness account told Daily Sun, that the explosion occurred along Ogechi Lane, off Iheorji market/Ohanku Road area of Aba town, when kerosene poured in a basin, and was being filled into bottles beside a lighted stove, caught fire, burning down the entire building.
The witnesses said Stephen’s wife had tried to use water to put out the burning flame, but it got worsened and spread to the family room where their two children aged between three and five years were at the time.
However, as Stephen barged into the room he could not save his children, even as he got severely burnt in the head, face, shoulder and both hands.
The corpses of the deceased were later recovered, while those injured were taken to a private hospital in the area for treatment.