The Police Command in Delta says five persons lost their lives in a petrol tanker explosion in the state, police sources said.
The spokesman of the command, DSP Bright Edafe, disclosed this to newsmen on Sunday in Warri, saying the incident occurred on 1 October at Ugbenu in Ethiope West Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
He said that the tanker, laden with petrol, was heading towards Benin City in the morning when the unfortunate incident happened.
“In the early hours of Oct. 1, 2023, at about 0200hrs, the Command recorded a tragic incident where a tanker, laden with petroleum product, being driven towards Benin on the Warri – Benin Road fell at Ugbenu Koko Junction.
“Its content spilled into the nearby swamp and the spillage attracted a couple of youths who took advantage of the incident and started scooping fuel into jerry cans and other containers.
“While they were at it, an explosion erupted and the fire from the explosion engulfed the whole area.
“The fire claimed lives of five persons among the youths who had come to scoop fuel,” Edafe said.
He said that several properties, including eight buses of different makes, two tankers, five trailers, two motorcycles, a Sienna space wagon and a ‘C’ Class Mercedes Benz car were also burnt.
Edafe said that the remains of the victims had been deposited at the Oghara General Hospital’s morgue in Ethiope West.
He added that police operatives attached to the Oghara division, in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) at Ethiope West, had mobilized to the scene to ensure the free flow of traffic.
Edafe said that the Commissioner of Police, Delta Command, Mr Wale Abass, had expressed his sympathy with the families that lost their loved ones in the incident.
“It is sad that we never learn from past occurrences, since this is not the first time such incident has happened.
“Nonetheless, I appeal that Nigerians should do away with greed and avoid scenes where there is an occurrence of oil spillages.
“It poses a serious threat to their lives and the lives of others,” Edafe warned.