An Islamic cleric Idris Yusuf lost six children in the petrol tanker explosion on Wednesday at Felele along the Lokoja-Abuja Highway.
The tanker belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) experienced brake failure around 8 am and fell on several cars before going up in flames.
Yusuf who operates evening Arabic School also resides in the Felele community.
His children, Aisha, Aisha Junior, Wasila, Faiza, Ibrahim and Abdul-Muttalib were heading to school in a vehicle when the incident happened and they were all killed.
He was said to have slumped when the news of their demise filtered in.
“The whole family is in mourning following the demise of these wonderful children,” a neighbour told Daily Trust.
Meanwhile, Kogi State polytechnic which lost some of its students in the incident has suspended activities over the incident.
A lecturer told the newspaper that the school management has also set up a committee to ascertain its losses.
He said although there were reports that five students lost their lives in the early morning carnage, the management has not been able to confirm the statistic.
The Kogi State Government has declared a two-day mourning as a mark of respect for the 23 victims of the explosion.
Commissioner for Information Kingsley Fanwo in a statement on Thursday urged residents of the state to use the period for sober reflection as well as pray for the victims and their relations, adding that Governor Yahaya Bello was deeply touched by the incident.
“In this time of grief, we urge the people to be deep in sober reflection and stand together for one another to pull out of the agonising loss,” he said.