How over 100 people were killed in Onitsha tanker explosion

OVER 100 people were, on Sunday afternoon, burnt to death at the Asaba Park axis of Upper Iweka, Onitsha, as the brake of a petrol tanker failed, leading to explosion.

Among the victims were a pregnant woman, babies, drivers, passengers at the park, free readers who throng the newsstand along the park, vendors and hawkers in the area.
The tragic incident, which occurred at about 2.30 p.m. threw residents and travellers within the commercial city of Onitsha into panic.
According to an eyewitness, Victor Ugwumadu, the driver of the petrol-laden tanker was descending the Upper Iweka flyover from the Enugu-Nkpor end of the expressway when the brake of the vehicle failed.
Ugwumadu said the driver, in a bid to save the situation, swerved off the vehicle into the busy NITEL lane, where different transport companies are loading passengers, before finally hitting the Asaba park and ramming into the VIP toilet building, killing many people in the process.
He said the tanker caught fire about 10 minutes after ramming into the building, with many casualties trapped in the rubble.
When the Nigerian Tribune visited the scene, men of the Fire Service from Okpoko and Main Market station were seen making efforts to put out the fire.


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