Sunday, 31 May 2015

69 Burnt To Death In Onitsha Petrol Tanker Explosion

No fewer than 69 persons were burnt to death yesterday evening when a trailer loaded with Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) caught fire.

The chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society in the state, Prof Peter Emeka Kathy, confirmed the number of casualties.

Kathy said, “We have 69 burnt to death persons as at now. There are other 30 casualties. A casualty is a living person, a dead person is no longer a casualty; so 69 persons are dead. They have been evaluated to various mortuaries in Onitsha, from Toronto to St Charles Boromneo Mortuaries and others in town.”

The lorry was descending from Army barracks side of Onitsha – Enugu expressway when it lost control and rammed into the Asaba Motor Park at Upper Iweka Street in the commercial city of Onitsha and exploded.

Caught in the billowing inferno were 11 vehicles, mostly commuter buses, and two motorcycles. The 40-foot tanker was burnt beyond repair.

Governor Willie Obiano, who visited the scene of accident along with some of his commissioner wept uncontrollably at the scene.

Obiano told the relations of the victims to take heart and promised that the state would help in ensuring that the living victims are well taken care of in the respective hospitals where they are being treated.

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