Olusegun Oyenibi – Lokoja
Twenty three people have been confirmed dead in a road accident involving a tanker in Felele along Lokoja/Abuja highway.
The tanker carrying premium motor spirit, PMS, known as petrol belonging to NNPC according to an eye witness account, lost control due to brake failure and rammed into five cars, two motorcycles and three tricycles popularly known as Keke killing all the occupants.
Among those who died and burnt beyond recognition according to eye witness are some students of the Kogi State Polytechnic and some school children being conveyed to school.
Also burnt in the tanker inferno was a business man identified as Olu Samson, his wife and three children in a Highlander Vehicle as well as passer-by.
Mr Samson was said to be selling sewing machines in Lokoja metropolis and wanted to drop his children off at the Baptist Group of Schools around Ganaja junction in town.
The eye witness who spoke to our Correspondent said the tanker driver in an attempt to avoid collision with vehicles kept on making signs for vehicles and road users to stay clear of his path but eventually fell off on it’s side and caught fire thereby consuming vehicles along it’s path.
Our Correspondent also reported that school bags, exercise books and text books littered the spot where the accident happened.
Members of the FRSC, NSCDC, and the Nigeria Police were all on ground to evacuate corpses to the State Specialist Hospital and secure the area.
In a reaction, the Kogi State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Idris Fika Ali confined the death of twenty three persons while a child escaped with injury. Also in a statement, Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has commiserated with the family of the deceased and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
Governor Bello urged the Students of the State Polytechnic, Lokoja to remain peaceful and calm stressing that he shared in thier moment of grief over the death of some of thier colleagues.
As part of measures, the school management of Baptist Group of Schools has closed down the school till next week as to commiserate with the families of some of their pupils and a student that died.