By Daniel Edu
In a devastating incident that unfolded at Koko junction along the Warri – Benin Highway in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, twenty lives were tragically lost due to a tanker explosion. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday and was triggered by a spark originating from a malfunctioning vehicle. The victims, among whom were a pregnant woman, children, and elderly individuals, were engaged in the dangerous act of siphoning fuel from a toppled tanker.
According to an eyewitness who spoke to Vanguard, despite warnings from drivers and security personnel present at the scene, the victims were determined to collect fuel from the fallen tanker. The eyewitness further recounted that some of the victims sought refuge in nearby forests, while others succumbed to the flames.
The ferocity of the explosion resulted in several bodies being burnt beyond recognition, with burnt vehicles, including the tanker itself, becoming part of the grim tableau at the scene.
“We attempted to dissuade them, but the young people threatened us, asserting that it was their community. They arrived in large numbers, carrying various containers. When the explosion occurred around 12:15 a.m. this morning, we all fled. As I speak, you can see lifeless bodies on the ground. Some of them fled into the forest. I can confirm that over 20 bodies have been counted,” the eyewitness lamented.