By Aisha Wakaso
About 20 persons Wednesday lost their lives when a petrol tanker crashed and exploded in Kudu village located on Bida-Mokwa road in Niger State.
THISDAY gathered that the accident occurred when the tanker was about to negotiate a bend in the town before it fell down and exploded, resulting in the death of about 20 persons and a policeman.
It was also gathered that the explosion caused the burning of several houses as well as the infliction of varying degrees of injuries to many residents, who were rushed to a nearby hospital in Kutigi and Mokwa.
However, investigations revealed that the policeman was killed in the inferno, when he tried to rescue some trapped victims when the tanker exploded.
When contacted in a telephone interview, the Chairman of the council, Alhaji Adamu Jiya Sonfada, confirmed the incident saying several people were also injured in the disaster and were receiving treatment at the General Hospitals, in Mokwa and Kutigi.
He further revealed that about 15 people lost their lives, while several millions of naira worth of property was lost to the incident.
He added that the local government area was on top of the situation, stressing that the victims were already receiving medical treatment at the hospital.
The village head of Kudu, Alhaji Alhassan Kudu, called on the Federal Government to construct speed bumps across the road, especially around the market site where the accident occurred, stressing that this would check reckless driving and over speeding on the road.
Also speaking, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Pius Edobo, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the incident but, claimed he was not aware of the death of a police officer amongst those that lost their lives.
“The command was not aware of the death of one of its officers but promised to find out,” he said.
Meanwhile, a mass burial was organised for the deceased persons at Kudu village in Mokwa local government area.