One dead, 5 cars burnt as tanker explodes on East-West Road

Tragedy struck Wednesday evening along the Mbiama axis of the East-West road in Rivers State when a petrol tanker exploded killing a taxi driver.

No fewer than five vehicles were reportedly burnt during the sad incident, which caused heavy traffic gridlock that left commuters stranded along the East-West road.

Three of the burnt vehicles were damaged beyond recognition while two others were burnt partially.

The Bayelsa State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Mr. Ikechukwu Igwe, reportedly deployed his officials in the area to ensure free-flow of traffic along the busy road.

The FRSC sector commander, who visited the area yesterday morning, said only a taxi driver died in the incident and sympathised with persons whose vehicles were burnt.

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He said instead of fleeing the scene after the tanker collapsed, the taxi driver, opened the bonnet of his vehicle and attempted to disconnect his battery.

He said in the process of trying to remove his vehicle’s battery, a spark occurred and caused the explosion.

“The driver just discharged fuel at Lionman Filling Station but as he was going out, the tanker fell. The taxi man that died in the incident came out and discovered that there was no road because other drivers abandoned their vehicles and fled the area.

“The man decided to disconnect his vehicle’s battery and there was a spark because the remaining fuel from the tanker had spilled on the road. The spark caused the fire that killed the taxi driver and burnt five vehicles”.

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He said his command was making an arrangement to bring a towing truck to remove the tanker that fell across the road, adding that fire-fighters were able to put out the fire.

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