At least 60 dies in fuel tanker crash in Nigeria

Fuel tanker accident costs more than 60 lives in city of Onitsha

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

More than 60 people have died in the city of Onitsha city in Nigeria after a fuel tanker crashed into a busy bus station and caught fire, BBC has reported.

The driver lost control of the tanker and crashed to bus station instead of going downhill, according to witnesses.

Twelve other vehicles caught fire in the incident.

Dozens of people are being treated in two hospitals in Onitsha.

The tanker, loaded with petroleum, lost control and rammed into the Asaba Motor Park at Upper Iweka in Onitsha, Anambra State and exploded killing no less than 69 people according to the Nigerian Red Cross Society.

The Chairman of the society, Professor Peter Kathy, said: “Presently, we have 69 people burned to death and 30 casualties. The dead have been evacuated to various mortuaries in Onitsha.”

“Instead of looking for a wide gutter to break his speed, he veered into a park, where commercial vehicles were taking on passengers. Most of the people that died were inside vehicles in the park. If the driver of the tanker were alive, he would have been arraigned in the court because it is multiple murder. He was reckless. He knew he was fully loaded with petrol and yet he decided to direct his vehicle into a motor park. He does not care for human lives. How can you veer into a park where you know buses were filled with people, when the road is wide enough for you to control your vehicle?” Kathy added.

During their visit, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and one of his commissioners could not hold their emotions back when they saw the scene of the accident.

The governor told relatives of the victims to take heart and promised that the state would help in ensuring that those who survived were well taken care of.

More than 100 people died in a blaze as they tried to get oil from an overturned tanker in southern Nigeria in 2012.

TRTWorld and agencies