Panic in Onitsha as again, Petrol Tanker Goes Up in Flames

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David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Residents of Onitsha, Anambra State were in panic yesterday morning as yet another petrol tanker went up in flames, causing pandemonium among residents of the area at about 2am.

The tanker which was said to be conveying about 15,000 liters of petroleum products suddenly went up in flames, a source told our correspondent.

Petroleum tanker fire has remained a recurring disaster in Anambra State, since 2019, leading to a ban on the movement of tankers conveying petroleum products during the day by the state government.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohammed who confirmed the incident said the truck was loaded with Premium  Motor Spirit (PMS) and parked by the road side along Onitsha/Awka Expressway by Vin Oil Filling Station, Onitsha when it went up in flame. 

“Following the distress call, Police patrol teams led by DPO Awada Division, CSP Tony Adeyi rushed to the scene and immediately contacted Anambra State Fire Service who responded promptly.

“The scene was condoned off and the situation was brought under control and obstruction cleared to enable free flow of traffic in the area after the fire was put off at about 03:30am.  “Cause of fire is yet to be ascertained but the truck’s over charged battery is suspected. No loss of life or injury was recorded during the incident. 

THISDAY gathered that the incident had caused a huge confusion among residents of the area, as they woke up in the middle of the night, upon the news and scampered in many directions.

A source said that even though the head of the truck had been completely gutted by fire, the truck’s tank with its product remained intact and did not explode.

 “A new tanker has been ordered for trans-loading of the 15,000 litres of fuel being conveyed by the ill-fated tanker,” the source said.

 Meanwhile, just on Thursday, another  Cross River State bound Man Disiel Truck with Registration Number XB 425 DTR conveying Cosmetics, perfumes, Air condition gas cylinders and plywoods from  Onitsha market was gutted by fire close to UNIZIK main gate along Enugu-Onisha expressway, Awka. 

 The truck and entire goods were consumed in the inferno but the driver one Chimilezie Aneke ‘m’ aged 45years of Osile quarters Ogbuike and other occupants escaped unhurt.