20 dead including a pregnant woman and three children as fuel-laden tanker explodes in Ondo

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No fewer than 20 people including a pregnant woman and three children have reportedly roasted to death after a tanker exploded at Ore, in Odigbo council area of Ondo state.

The incident occurred on cowboy road, opposite Optima filling station in Ore, Sunday evening, July 23, 2023.

It was said that the victims were scooping fuel after a petrol tanker fell and spilled it’s contents and exploded after the driver lost control.

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Sources said the fire was ignited by a spark from a phone of the persons scooping fuel that spilled from the tank.

An eye witness account said that they were inside the church when the tanker fell and spilled its contents on the road.

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The source who identified himself as Cyriacus said many persons rushed to scoop fuel from the tanker despite being warned by the pastor in the church.

According to him “We were inside the church when we heard that tanker fell.

”The rain was also falling. People were taking fuel when fire started after a spark from a phone.

“Three children died and we have counted over 15 bodies. A pregnant woman that wanted to buy the fuel also died. The money is still with her.”

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, disclosed that those who lost their lives were fuel scoopers.

She said, ”They were scooping fuel from a tanker when the fire started. We have commenced an investigation into the matter.”

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Reacting, the state All Progressives Congress (APC), described the incident as shocking news, an unfortunate and lamentable occurrence.”

The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaiye, mourned the untimely but avoidable death of the victims.

According to him, “It was a painfully touching scene.”

The party urged Nigerians to be more careful with explosive items, no matter the level of temptation, adding that petroleum products give no notice before an explosion.

The party said, “Times are hard, no doubt, but we are very certain that the situation will begin to relax very soon. We need to stay safe, and in good health to keep hope alive.

“We deeply sympathize with the bereaved families, friends, and the Ore community. We pray to God to comfort them. May the souls of the victims rest in peace.”

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