Tragedy Strikes in Koko, Warri North: Petrol Tanker Explosion Claims Lives.
Koko, Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State – A horrifying incident shook the community of Koko in the Warri North local government area of Delta State as a petrol tanker explosion claimed multiple lives, estimated to be around 20 individuals. The calamity unfolded yesterday morning when a group of residents rushed to the scene to collect fuel from the burning vehicle.
Unofficial sources reported a staggering death toll of 20, with numerous others suffering from severe burns. However, Bright Edafe, the spokesperson for the state police command, provided a different account, stating that the fire tragically claimed the lives of five youths who had come to collect spilled fuel.
The intensity of the blaze had far-reaching consequences, engulfing numerous properties, including the fallen tanker itself, eight buses of various makes, two additional tankers, five trailers, two motorcycles, a Siena Space bus, and a ‘C’ Class Mercedes Benz car.
Eyewitnesses shed light on the tragic sequence of events, with one resident, known only as Salvation, recounting that the explosion occurred when fuel was ignited by a spark from a phone held by one of the residents attempting to collect fuel from the tanker.
A local trader added to the grim narrative, alleging that over 20 bodies, including three children and a pregnant woman, were consumed by the inferno. He stated, “I was in my shop when I heard the tanker fell. People were scooping fuel from it when the fire started after a spark from a phone.
Three children died, and we have counted over 20 bodies. A pregnant woman who wanted to buy the fuel also died. Security men tried to prevent them, but the youths were not bothered because it is their community. They came in their numbers carrying all sorts of containers.”
As the community grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. He attributed this unfortunate incident to the poor state of federal roads and urged the federal government to expedite action in reconstructing the failed portions of the road.
The governor also issued a cautionary message, emphasizing the risks associated with attempting to collect fuel from a fallen tanker, which he described as a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
In a statement released by his chief press secretary, Sir Festus Ahon, in Asaba, Governor Oborevwori expressed deep sympathy for the families affected by this devastating event, highlighting the need for both immediate assistance and long-term solutions to prevent such tragedies in the future.