CALABAR- ABOUT fifty persons have been reportedly roasted when a tanker laden with petroleum products exploded In Odukpani, the outskirts of Calabar on Friday evening.
The truck, according an eye witness who gave his name as Richard was taking from the fuel depots in Calabar to the northern part of the state when it veered off the road at the New Netim Junction into a gully spilling its products in the process.
“When the tanker fell, so many people from Odukpani and neighbouring areas came wih different items to scoop fuel and when the police arrived, they were told to go away but the refused o leave and after some time the tanker went up in flames and majority of them were caught in the explosion”.
He said it was difficult to ascertain the number of those caught in the flames because the fire was still raging a about 6.00pm when this report was written
“Okada riders, women, children and young people were all scooping the fuel when the explosion occurred and it is not yet known how many people died in the fire but from the crowd I saw not less than fifty people were at scene of the accident”
He said the men of Federal Road Safety Commission that were holding a mobile court close of the scene of the accident were contacted but failed to respond to cordon off the place.
Ms Irene Ugbo, the Cross River Police Public Relations offiicef said she cannot give the exact figure of those caught in the inferno “but police asked them to leave the place but they refused to heed instruction”.