Not less than 21 people were feared dead and many injured, yesterday, when a tanker laden with kerosene lost control at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, Anambra State.
The number of casualties could not be ascertained as at press time, but, an eyewitness said more than 21 persons died, while others sustained various degrees of injuries.
Chijoke Nworji, witness said the tanker lost control at MCC bus stop at the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, when it ran from the expressway to the service lane, crushing everything on its way until it finally hanged by the gutter drainage at Abuja Park.
He said the causalities were mainly roadside traders, hawkers, food vendors, park loaders and passers by, adding that some of the bodies of the victims were crushed beyond recognition before they were picked and taken to hospital.
“As we are talking, the tanker killed more than 21 people, and many others who were injured will die in the hospital because of degrees of the injuries. The driver of the tanker just wanted to kill people because he had opportunity to force the vehicle to a stop where people were not many. I thank God that I ran away and got saved,” Nworji said.
The state Chairman of Nigerian Red Cross Society, Prof. Peter Emeka Katchy, who led the rescue team at the scene of the accident, said they had, so far, evacuated seven corpses to the Toronto Hospital morgue, at Upper Iweka, and four injured persons in another hospital.
He said: “A tanker loaded with kerosine lost control and rammed into people and killed a lot of them from MCC bus stop down to Peace park gate. So far, seven dead people have been deposited at Toronto hospital mortuary and one other person we took to the hospital is still receiving treatment. Three other injured people are at Beater Hospital at Onitsha-Owerri road. That is the number of causalities recorded, so far; others ones we don’t know.”