… As Kwara fire service warns tanker drivers against speeding***
No fewer than five people have died while several other persons sustained varying degrees of injuries as a kerosene-laden tank exploded at the popular Kubwa Village Market in Abuja.
The incident happened, Friday night, at the junction leading to the L.E.A Primary School, Jaji Street, and a few metres away from St Luke Catholic Church.
When the newsmen arrived at the scene, the bodies of the victims were being evacuated by the combined team of officers of the Nigerian police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Fire Service, among others.
The inferno, which gutted the adjoining shops in the area, had been extinguished by the Fire Servicemen.
An eye-witness, Mr Chima Nnamdi, told newsmen that the sad event occurred at about 7:15 pm.
Nnamdi said he had, so far, counted at least five bodies, some of which were burnt beyond recognition.
He said several other people, who sustained injuries, had been taken to Kubwa General Hospital.
He said that the kerosene might be an adulterated product.
Another eye-witness, who simply called herself Jennifer, said the kerosene seller and her two children also died in the fire incident.
The Kubwa Police Area Commander, ACP Mohammed Ndagi Shebe, who confirmed the incident, debunked the rumour that it was a bomb explosion.
“You can see it yourself,” he said as he flashed a torchlight to the kerosene tank which allegedly caused the explosion.
According to him, it was a kerosene surface tank that exploded.
“That is what brought the inferno,” he added.
He said though he could not tell if the kerosene could have been an adulterated one, the senior police officer said four dead bodies had so far been evacuated from the scene.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Command, DSP Josephine Adeh, however, told newsmen in a telephone chat that she was yet to be briefed about the sad occurrence as at the time of filing the report.
In the meantime, the Kwara Fire Service on Friday warned tanker drivers in the state to limit their speed on the road in order to reduce frequent road accidents.
Mr Falade Olumuyiwa, the Director of the service issued the warning in a statement made available to the newsmen in Ilorin.
Olumiyiwa described a “near dangerous incident that would have involved the State’s Fire Service from petrol tanker explosion, but for the intervention of God who saved men”.
He explained that the incident occurred on Nov. 4 beside Ibrosalam filling station at Bode-Saadu expressway in Kwara.
“It was a petrol loaded tanker which had an accident and got somersaulted by the roadside.
“While the firemen were trying to calm the situation, suddenly it caught fire and exploded.
“However, it was God that rescued the officers who attended the incident,” he explained.
He noted that the fire explosion was a very rare one due to the overloading of the petrol tanker.
Olumuyiwa, therefore, urged tanker drivers to always monitor their loading activities and speed to prevent mishaps.