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Fuel tanker explodes in Rivers state, Nigeria

A petrol tanker fell on the ground and went up in flames on Thursday along the Eleme/Onne axis of the East-West Road in Rivers State.

It was gathered that the driver of the tanker, which was loaded with an unspecified quantity of fuel, had lost control after one of the front tyres had entered a big pothole.

The driver of the vehicle, according to a source, tried to avoid another pothole when the tanker fell on its side and went up in flames.

A source from Eleme, who simply identified himself as Geofrey, told our correspondent that though a petrol tanker fell close to a major beer distribution company, he was not sure that any life was lost.

Geofrey disclosed that the incident happened at about 5pm on Thursday, adding that vehicle went up in flames after it fell on the ground.

“Yes, I am aware of the accident involving a petrol tanker. It happened between 4.30pm and 5pm and close to Ifeoma Chukwuka major beer Distribution Company. But I am not sure anybody lost his or her life during the incident,” he said.

Another source, Emma, told our correspondent that the accident caused a gridlock along the Eleme-Onne road, adding that the traffic continued till late in the night, even when the fire had been put out.

When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, told our correspondent that he was not aware of such accident.

Omoni, who said he had called the Divisional Police Officer of the Refinery in the area and his counterpart in Eleme to verify the claim, explained that the DPO, Refinery, had maintained that it was only a tanker tyre explosion that he was aware of and not tanker explosion.

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