Petrol tanker explosion kills 14 in Niger

Fourteen persons were killed in Tegina town in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, on Friday when a petrol tanker skidded off the road and exploded.

The tanker was conveying petrol from Lagos to Kaduna when the driver lost control and rammed his vehicle into some residential buildings in the town.

Eight houses were completely burnt in the fire that ensued.

The fire claimed the lives of the people who were trapped in the buildings and others selling by the roadside.

“We buried 14 people including a six-month-old baby who died in the tanker explosion this morning,” Muhammad Sani who took part in the rescue operation told AFP.

Eight more victims were taken to hospital with burns, two of them in “very critical condition” while eight homes were burnt in the inferno, said another resident Abdullahi Egiworo.

A spokesman for Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state confirmed the accident, but refused to give casualty figures.

“We received reports of an accident involving a petrol tanker in Tegina this morning but we are still awaiting details,” Bitrus Max told AFP.

He said emergency officials were heading to the scene to assist in the evacuation of victims.

Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, also confirmed the incident.

He said the Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, had visited the scene of the accident.

Mr. Elkana said the command would investigate the cause of the accident.