One Dead, 8 Vehicles Burnt As Tanker Explodes In Edo
IT was weeping and wailing yesterday in Benin as an auto crash involving a truck and a saloon car conveying bags off rice on the Lagos-Benin expressway right in front of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) resulted in the death of one person. The truck which was conveying diesel fell and exploded in a ball of fire in a desperate attempt to avoid collision with an oncoming vehicle reportedly driving against traffic.
An eye witness at the scene of the accident, which happened at about 6 in the morning explained that the ill-fated truck conveying 33,000 litres of diesel veered off its lane while trying to avoid a car driving against traffic, climbed the median to the opposite lane and hit a Mercedes Benz wagon conveying the car loaded with rice from Lagos, resulting in the truck falling and exploding. The car said to be coming from Lagos, before the Truck fell and exploded into fire, killing the truck driver. Continuing, the eyewitness said the driver of the truck, whose identity could not be ascertained due to the severe burnt he sustained died on the spot while his assistant who managed to jump out of the smouldering vehicle escaped.
The eye witness who pleaded anonymity said: “The Mercedes Benz car conveying the rice was burnt down completely and the driver whereabouts reminded unknown but for the truck driver, he was trapped in the vehicle and burnt to death beyond recognition.” It was bedlam at the scene of the accident as onlookers gathered to look at the smouldering vehicles just as security agents cordoned off the area to maintain order.
Car dealers who displayed their second-hand cars popularly called tokunbo along the roads are presently counting their losses as eight vehicles were gutted in the inferno. The fatal accident caused traffic gridlock for several hours on the expressway as panicky motorists parked their vehicles and waited for the smoke to be put out before proceeding.
It was a hectic task for traffic personnel to control traffic on the road as the motorist was asked to take alternative routes to their destination which mostly affected staff and students of the University of Benin and University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). Shops around the accident scene remained under lock and key as the area as it was closed down to human and vehicular activities, a development that will definitely affect their businesses until the truck and the remains of the victim are evacuated.
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