About 20 persons were said to have been burnt to death when a tanker with full load of petrol lost control due to brake failure, rammed into other vehicles on the bridge of Maboro River and exploded in Ankpa, Ankpa local government area of Kogi State.
The incident happens barely three weeks after armed robbers invaded some commercial banks and attacking the divisional police headquarters in the same Ankpa town, which left many dead.
An eyewitness said the incident happened around 3.30pm on Wednesday.
According to him, the number of casualties could be ascertained, adding that some were burnt beyond recognition as human body parts and burnt cars litter the area.
“Nobody knows the number of dead people now. Many people were in the River doing one thing or the other when the tanker lost control, rammed into vehicles and exploded on the bridge. It’s horrible, the goriest scene I have seen in my life,” said Usman Ahmed a resident of Ankpa.
Also, Musa Audu, another resident of the town, stated that “it’s the second major disaster in Ankpa within the month. This one is the most terrible and horrible. Over 20 persons were burnt to death, some beyond recognition.”
He added that many who were crushed to death had their body parts scattered all over the place, adding that such parts had to be picked in bits and pieces in body bags.
The Sector Commander, Kogi State Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Commander Stephen Dawulung, confirmed the incident, saying the number of casualties cannot be ascertained for now.
“‘My officers are there, putting the pieces together. We don’t know the number of dead yet. A tanker, one bus and three cars, three motorcycles were involved,” he added.