The petrol tanker that exploded in fire in Benue state last Saturday may have claimed not less than four lives.
Two of the victims were burnt beyond recognition. The incident took place at Gbatse, Ushongo Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, on Saturday.
Gbatse is a settlement close to Ushongo town along Katsina-Ala/Adikpo Road. The tanker was conveying Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol to an unknown destination.
Eyewitness account reveals that when the tanker fell, locals in the area rushed to scoop the product.
However, during the rush to scoop the fuel, a policeman fired into the air to disperse them, resulting in the explosion.
It is gathered that four persons died as a result of the explosion, while more than 40 others had varying degrees of burns from the incident.
We further learnt that the fire, which razed down some nearby houses as well as motorbikes that were in the vicinity started at about 9am, leaving about 40 persons with various degrees of injuries.
Those affected with burns were rushed to Ostra-Gum clinic in Ushongo town for primary treatment of the burns. However, those with severe burns were moved to Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) on the orders of the state governor, Samuel Ortom.
When visited BSUTH, 12 of the victims were already on admission at the hospital. The Chief Medical Director (CMD), BSUTH, Terlumun Swede, accompanied by the State Commissioner for Health and Human Services,Dr Cecilia Ojo. Mrs. bo, were making the rounds at the hospital.
The CMD, who noted that the victims were in serious pains from the burns, said the team of doctors at the hospital were doing it’s best to save the lives of the victims.
He, however, lamented that the incident took place at a time when other medical staff under the aegis of JOHESU were on strike.