By Laleye Dipo
Five houses and 49 shops were gutted by fire in a tanker explosion that occurred at Lambata town in Gawu Babangida Local Government Area of Niger State on Sunday night.
Two vehicles, one of them a fuel laden tanker, and the other a trailer loaded with goods, were also burnt in addition to two motorcycles.
According to eyewitnesses, several goods especially agricultural produce displayed in the shops and some household goods were destroyed in the disaster.
No life was however lost as the incident occurred on a Sunday when most of the traders did not open their shops and as a result of very few movements of people at the time.
An eyewitness said the accident occurred when the tanker and another vehicle were involved in an head on collision.
It was said that the two vehicles were trying to avoid the bad portion of the road without either of them exercising patience for the other.
The resultant collision caused the fuel laden tanker to explode spilling its contents and resulting in the fire which burnt all the said properties.
Officials of the state Emergency Management Agency were at Lambatta on Monday to assess the situation.
The Director General of the Agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga, who confirmed the story, described the situation as “sad”, adding that: “We will compile our report and send it to the appropriate authority.”
Inga however expressed sadness at the loss of valuable items and urged those affected to take it as “an act of God”.
“We are happy no life was lost,” Inga said.