Tanker explodes in Cross River as residents scoop fuel, many feared dead

The oil tanker exploded on Friday evening in Odukpani Nigeria

The oil tanker exploded on Friday evening in Odukpani Nigeria

There are fears that many people have lost their lives after a petroleum tanker burst into flames at the Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River state.

"We have recovered 12 corpses and taken 22 persons with serious burns to the hospital", police spokeswoman Irene Ugbo told the Associated Press news agency on Saturday.

She later said the casualty numbers were "high" and the exact number was not known.

Sadly, Ms Irene Ugbo, the Cross River Police Public Relations officer said she can not give the exact figure of those caught in the inferno, "But the police had asked them to leave the place but they refused to heed instruction". However, some residents put the death toll closer to 60.

This led to an explosion which killed several people at once. "It is not likely that anyone inside the pit survived as there was a lot of fuel in the pit".

At the scene, the police tried to contain the situation as the fire raged.

It was not immediately clear what caused the truck to overturn.

No fewer than ten fuel scoopers were reported dead when they allegedly engaged in scooping petroleum product (Fuel) from a fuel tanker that veered off the road along Odukpani axis of the Ikom-Calabar highway near the Federal Housing estate.

Nigeria's worst such incident occurred in 1998, when more than 1,000 people died as the leaking oil pipeline from which they were gathering fuel exploded in the town of Jesse.

Latest News