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10 dead in Taraba auto crash, 20 in ‘critical conditions’

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Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

Ten persons have been confirmed dead and 20 others critically injured in an auto crash involving a petrol tanker and trailer in Zing Local Government Area of Taraba State.

Police in Taraba State, on Thursday, said death toll in  the auto crash has risen to 10.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP. David Missal, who disclosed this, in Jalingo, the state capital, said the accident which occurred, on Wednesday evening, also left quantum destruction to property in the area.

Misal said that the 20 other persons who sustained various degrees of injuries were receiving treatment at the General Hospital Zing and the Federal Medical Center in Jalingo.

Said he, “We recovered eight bodies after the accident, but later discovered a burnt corpse inside one of the vehicles and this morning again, one of the injured persons died on his way to federal medical center Jalingo.

“So, all together we have recorded 10 deaths from the accident. I can also confirm to you that several houses and shops were burnt because the accident happened in a densely populated area,  more so that it was on a market day,” he said.

One Nyanshako Ishaya, who witnessed the accident, told our correspondent that a Petrol tanker loaded with premium motor spirit (PMS) and was heading to Yola, in Adamawa State, crashed into a trailer in Zing town on a market day and burst into flames, leading to the death of many while several houses and shops were burnt.

According to Ishaya, “The tanker which was traveling at high speed lost control when its automated break system (ABS) failed and ran into a moving trailer and immediately bursted into flames.

“I saw a man riding on a motorcycle ahead of the tanker telling people to clear off the road saying the tanker had lost its break system and within a blink of an eye,  the tanker crashed into a moving trailer.

“I saw a pregnant woman and three others burning in the inferno,  but I could not help as the fire was too much and I have to run for my life,” he narrated.

Ishaya who could not ascertain the number of deaths in the accident said dozens were killed, adding that the accident happened in the heart of the town on a market day.

He added that several houses and shops in the area were gutted by fire as well as motorcycles and other valuable items.

Daily Sun reports that the accident is coming barely weeks after a truck crushed the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN),  Rev. Ben Ubeh to death in the same area.

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