At least 17 persons were reportedly burnt to death in a tanker explosion near Koko junction section of the Benin/Sapele Expressway, Ethiope West council area of Delta state on Wednesday.
According to The Nation, four vehicles were said to have been destroyed in the incident, which reportedly happened in the morning.
The petrol-laden Eveco truck was trying to manoeuvre a bad spot when it fell and exploded as residents of the area rushed to the scene to scoop fuel.
A source told the newspaper that the driver of the tanker had gone to report the incident and residents were scooping fuel at the Police checkpoint in Koko junction when they heard the explosion.
A truck driver, Kola Akintayo, who witnessed part of the incident, said a vehicle, which was passing by scraped a metal while residents continued to scoop the product.
“That was what caused the fire. The driver had gone to report that the tanker fell. The next thing was fire,” he said.
“I don’t know the number of persons that died because we were not allowed close to the place. A car got burnt. The tanker got burnt too”.
Officials of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and security agencies reportedly assisted to evacuate the corpses and rushed other injured persons to a hospital in Oghara community.
The Delta State Police Command however confirmed only three persons were burnt beyond recognition on the spot.