AFP /Lokoja, Nigeria
At least nine people, including several students, were killed when a truck carrying petrol overturned and caught fire on a busy road in central Nigeria yesterday.
The accident happened at Lokoja, the capital of Kogi state, after the truck’s brakes failed and its driver lost control.
“I counted nine charred bodies of the victims in the mortuary while several others had severe burns,” an AFP journalist at the scene said. He said many vehicles, including a bus conveying students of the state polytechnic, were burnt in the inferno.
“The driver was coming from Okene and heading towards the northern part of the country when the brake of the truck failed on the Lokoja-Abuja highway,” he said.
He said the truck then skidded off the road and caught fire.
Local media said that up to 20 people, including students and passers-by, might have died in the fire. The state’s governor Yahaya Bello said he sympathised with the victims. “It is very sad to learn of the tragic loss of lives, many vehicles, property and other valuables in the petrol tanker fire,” Bello said in a statement.
He also offered his commiserations to the students of the polytechnic “over the death of some of their colleagues.”
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