Eyewitnesses have confirmed to www.calitown.com that more than fifty persons were roasted when a petrol laden tanker which tripped over and fell, spilling the product it was conveying, went up in flames while several of the victims were scooping fuel from the fallen tanker.
The incident which occurred in New Netim, Odukpani, on the outskirts of Calabar, the Cross River State capital on Friday evening, left a gory sight at the scene of the accident, with human and vehicular traffic put on hold for several hours. “Several of them had life threatening burns and I can swear that the casualty figure will rise in the days ahead”, one source said.
We were also reliably informed that initial attempts by the police to ward off the horde of persons who tropped in to scoop fuel was unsuccessful as the crowd resisted the police safety attempt. Shortly after, the tanker went up in flames in circumstances not unconnected to the greedy flurry of activity at the scene. Several burn victims were conveyed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, in very critical condition. Hospital sources confirmed this to www.calitown.com.
“Even men of Federal Road Safety Corps, holding a mobile court session not very far from the scene, were helpless”, we were informed.
Irene Ugbo, the Cross River Police Public Relations officer, told journalists on enquiry that she cannot give the exact figure of those affected.
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