Several people are feared dead after a tanker explosion on an east-west road in Rivers

An undetermined number of people are believed to have died after a tanker transporting petroleum products caught fire in Rivers State.

The terrible tragedy occurred on Friday night along the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, which has long been neglected, putting vehicles at risk.

According to reports, the tragedy occurred when the tanker collided with another heavy-duty truck while navigating the deteriorated route, igniting flames and resulting in an explosion.

The resulting blaze devoured numerous additional vehicles on the road, with occupants reportedly trapped and unable to escape the fire, which spread quickly.

Videos and witness statements posted on social media offer a bleak image.

One of Egwunyenga Victor Ifechukwu’s Facebook videos showed up to 11 cars, four of which were trucks, on fire.
The video included a narrative by a man who stated that the fire nearly engulfed a car he was driving with a companion. The witness lamented the quality of the road and the lack of timely emergency response.

“This is massive damage,” he stated. “You can imagine. For hours, there was no fire service.

Many individuals are said to have fled their automobiles as the flames advanced, but some were not so lucky.

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“I cried so hard because (goods worth) millions were burned down, and many trucks loaded with cleared goods by Nigerian Customs from the wharf, trucks with other goods, company staff buses with staff returning home from work, and commercial buses from Cross Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State, and other parts were caught in the inferno,” another witness wrote.

The actual scope of the inferno’s damage, as well as the casualty figures, is unknown. Emergency personnel are anticipated to offer additional information in the future.

The Eleme axis of the East-West route has been infamous for its hazardous conditions, sparking periodic protests from concerned locals seeking immediate repairs.

While the Federal Government just began road reconstruction, the progress has been criticized as slow.

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