No fewer than 10 people have been killed when a tanker burst into flames after crashing into a trailer in Zing town, in the Zing Local Government Area of Taraba State.
About 20 others were said to have been critically injured in the accident that occurred on Wednesday.
A resident, Mr. Nyanshako Ishaya, who witnessed the accident,
said that the tanker, which was loaded with Premium Motor Spirit (petrol),
was heading for Yola, Adamawa State, when it crashed into the trailer.
Ishaya said the tanker went up in flames, killing many people,
just as houses and shops were burnt.
He said, “The tanker driver was at top speed when he lost control.
The tanker’s brakes must have failed.
It rammed into a moving trailer and immediately burst into flames.
“I saw a man riding on a motorcycle ahead of the tanker telling people to leave
the road because the tanker had lost its brakes.
“I saw a pregnant woman and three others burning in the fire;
I could not help them because the fire was too much; I had to run for dear life.”
Ishaya, who could not ascertain the number of casualties,
said the accident happened in the heart of the town on a market
day when people were buying and selling.
He added that many houses, shops, motorcycles,
and other valuables were gutted by fire.
The police in Taraba on Thursday, however, said 10 people died in the crash.
The state Police Public Relations Officer,
ASP David Missal, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone,
said 20 others, who sustained various degrees of injury,
were receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Zing,
and the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo.
“We recovered eight dead bodies after the accident, but later in the evening,
we discovered a burnt corpse inside one of the vehicles. This morning (Thursday),
one of the injured persons died on his way to the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo.
“So, altogether we have recorded 10 deaths from the accident.
I can also confirm to you that many houses and shops were burnt because the accident happened
in a densely populated area; more so, it was on a market day,” he said.
About three weeks ago, a truck had crushed the state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria,
Revd. Ben Ubeh, to death in the same town.