Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
No fewer than 21 people were feared dead with many injured when a tanker laden with kerosene lost control at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, Anambra State and crashed.
The exact number of casualties could not be ascertained at the press time, but an eyewitness said that more than 21 persons died while others sustained various degrees of injuries.
An eyewitness, Chijoke Nworji, said that the tanker lost control at MCC bus stop on the Onitsha-Enugu expressway and skidded off the expressway to the service lane, crushing everything in its path until it finally crashed into the drainage channel at Abuja park.
He said that the causalities were mainly roadside traders, hawkers, food vendors, passenger loaders and passersby, adding that some of the victims’ bodies were shattered on the road before; their parts were mere picked up and taken to the hospital.
“The tanker accident killed more than 21 people; many people who were injured will die in the hospital because of the degrees of the injuries they sustained.
“The driver of the tanker simply wanted to kill people because he had an opportunity to force the vehicle to crash where there were fewer people. But I thank God that I ran away in time and was saved,” Nworji stated.
The state chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Prof Peter, Emeka Katchy, who led the rescue team to the scene of the accident said that they had so far evacuated seven bodies to the Toronto hospital morgue at Upper Iweka and four injured persons to another hospital.
“A tanker loaded with kerosene lost control and rammed into people and killed a lot of people from MCC bus stop down to Peace park gate. So far, seven dead bodies have been deposited at Toronto hospital mortuary.
“We took one person to the hospital where he is receiving treatment. Three other injured persons are at Beater Hospital on Onitsha-Owerri road. That is the number of causalities recorded so far; others ones we don’t know”.
Katchy said that the Federal Road Safety Corps came and removed the tanker as it blocked the road after it finally stopped by the big gutter.
In 2015, a tanker laden with fuel also lost control on the same spot went up in flames, killing many people.