The Delta State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Alphonsus Halim Godwin, has confirmed the death of three persons in the petrol tanker fire that occurred on Wednesday around Koko junction along the Benin-Sapele Road. Contrary to an earlier media reports that no fewer than 20 persons were reportedly burnt beyond recognition, and 10 vehicles also charred, Godwin, a Corps Commander, told Tell in a telephone interview that the accident occurred around 8 am and that only four vehicles were involved – a tanker, two other vehicles, and a motor cycle. “So there are four vehicles involved. And the number of people involved is six; three are deceased and three are in the hospital”.
Eye-witnesses had attributed the cause of the accident to an attempt by the tanker driver to avoid a failed portion of the road before the Ologbo bridge when it lost control and fell, spilling its contents. But while not ruling out the likelihood of the bad portion of the road causing the accident, Godwin insisted that “the most important thing is that the tanker lost control; maybe it was speeding and it lost control and it hit the other vehicles”.
According to him, “The tanker lost control and hit the other vehicles and it fell. And then some residents there went about scooping fuel from the tanker and that is how the motor cycle became involved. When the motor cycle got closer, there was ignition of fire; so, the tanker caught fire and the motor cycle too caught fire. The motor cycle was burnt to ashes. The men of fire brigade came and put the fire off and the vehicles have been moved away”.