Tragedy Strikes On Independence Day: Fuel Tanker Explosion Claims 20 Lives 

Daud Olatunji

In a devastating incident that marred Nigeria’s Independence Day celebrations, 20 lives were tragically lost as a fuel tanker exploded on the Warri-Benin Expressway.

The incident unfolded in the early hours of Sunday at Koko junction along the Warri – Benin Highway, situated in the Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State.

The calamity unfolded when a tanker, carrying its volatile cargo, toppled over, spilling fuel onto the roadway. 

Reports suggest that some individuals were attempting to collect spilled fuel when a spark from a faulty vehicle triggered a catastrophic explosion, resulting in the loss of 20 lives. 

Among the victims were a pregnant woman, children, and elderly individuals.

Eyewitness accounts reveal the harrowing moments leading up to the tragedy. A man named Yusuf recounted how he and others desperately tried to dissuade people from collecting fuel, fearing the inevitable danger. 

However, their efforts were met with resistance from determined youths who threatened them.

“They came in their numbers carrying all sorts of containers, and when the explosion happened around 12:15 am this morning, we all fled,” Yusuf lamented.

 “You can see dead bodies on the ground; some of them ran into the forest. As I speak, some dead bodies have been removed, and I counted over 20 bodies,” he somberly said this.

This heart-wrenching incident serves as a grim reminder of the need for heightened safety measures on our nation’s roadways, especially during significant occasions like Independence Day.

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