At least 50 people were killed and dozens injured in Nigeria when a petrol tanker exploded after it careered off a road and crashed, the emergency services said on Tuesday, July 2nd. according to Reuters.
On Monday, local residents rushed with buckets to collect gasoline spilling from a truck that overturned as it was travelling through the village of Ahumbe in Benue State. The fuel exploded, causing a blast that tore through the surrounding area.
"A tanker loaded with fuel crashed yesterday (Monday) and people were scooping up its contents when it caught fire, killing over 50 ," a spokesman for the Governor in central Benue State said, adding that the toll is expected to increase “owing to the nature of the inferno”.
A local council spokesman put the number of dead much higher at 64, but police refused to confirm any figure. Witnesses told AFP that a 14-seater bus was engulfed by the blast, leaving only one survivor.
Petrol tanker and pipeline blasts are common in Nigeria where most people live in poverty despite the country's rich oil and gas industry.