The incident happened as the tanker was trying to off-load petroleum into another tanker near a filling station. It exploded after spilling petrol on the main road. The dead victims were burnt beyond recognition while two sports utility vehicles and other property were destroyed by the inferno.
Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that the Oyo State Fire Service rushed to the scene soon after the fire started but could do nothing as they ran out of water as the fire escalated beyond control. Those who were injured in the incident were quickly taken to the hospital. One of the eyewitnesses, Kafaya Adewusi, said the fire started as a faulty truck was offloading petrol from its tank to an empty tanker. She said the technical fault led to the fire.
“I was on the other side of the road waiting for a taxi when the incident happened. People started running away from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation vehicle that was spilling fuel but some were not fast enough to beat the fire. Efforts were made to push the burning vehicle away but the effect of the heat made it impossible. The driver could not be found,” she said.
Police and men of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps who were there to maintain order, made frantic effort to control the crowd.
Information from Punch was used in this report.