At least 50 killed in fuel tanker explosion in Nigeria

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At least 50 people have been killed and several others injured in Nigeria after a fuel tanker crashed off the road and exploded as people collected fuel.

The driver of the tanker, who was travelling through the village of Ahumbe in Benue state in northern Nigeria, lost control of the vehicle after trying to dodge a pothole, local reports say.

A 14-seater bus collided with the burning tanker and also caught fire. Residents had rushed to syphon fuel from the tanker when it exploded, causing a blast.

“We have removed at least 10 dead bodies from the scene of the incident while over 50 people were affected,” Benue state Federal Road Safety Commission Sector Commander Aliyu Baba told AFP.

At least 50 killed in fuel tanker explosion in Nigeria
At least 50 killed in fuel tanker explosion in Nigeria

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“Owing to the nature of the inferno, I am afraid more discoveries might be made today as rescue efforts continue.”

A spokesman for the governor in central Benue state told Reuters about 50 people were killed, although the police are yet to confirm.

Petrol tanker explosions are common in Nigeria, a leading oil producer.
These disasters often happen during accidents involving fuel tankers or when local residents try to collect spilt fuel.

In January, a similar incident occurred, killing eight people in Odukpani, in the southeastern state of Cross River, Nigeria.

Earlier in 2012, about 100 people lost their lives and 50 got injured in the southern state of Rivers after a similar accident.

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