From Bayo Oyewale, Lokoja
Tragedy struck as no fewer than 25 people lost their lives in a fatal accident that occurred at Lokoja, the Kogi State capital on Friday.
It was learnt that the accident occurred at Felele, along Okene-Abuja Expressway around 1:30pm when a petrol tanker lost control and collided with an 18-seater bus coming from the North.
The tanker was said to have spilled fuel on the road and subsequently exploded, a situation which saw residents of the area scampering for safety.
An eyewitness, Bawasa Ibrahim, said the state Fire Service after their arrival at the scene of accident around 2:20pm did not have enough water in the tank to put out the fire.
It was gathered that several charred bodies of the accident victims could not be identified.
Also affected by the inferno were two commercial tricycle operators who were burnt to death and 10 cars parked by the roadside by their unsuspecting owners.
“The tanker and the 18-seater bus were trying to overtake each other but , the tanker lost balance and fell on the bus.
“We have been complaining to the government to fix this road and now you can see how many lives that were lost. No fewer than 25 burnt bodies can be seen here,” Ibrahim disclosed.
Another eyewitness, Haruna Sadiq said the situation could have been saved but for the late arrival of the fire service who complained that they had no fuel in their vehicle.
“I am really disappointed in our fire fighters for arriving here late. We called them several times but all we could hear is that they don’t have fuel,” he lamented.
He, however, appealed to the government to do the needful, stating that a similar accident happened recently at the same spot where lives were also lost.
Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps, Kogi State Command, claimed only 10 lives were lost in the accident.
The state FRSC Commandant, Ayabomi Omiyale said the remains of the victims have been deposited at the mortuary, while others with injuries are receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.