Four people have been reported burnt to fatal degrees on Tuesday, October 27, following the explosion of a fuel-tanker along the River Niger Bridge after Itobe in Ajakuta Local Council of Kogi state.

The blast was reportedly caused by a lax attitude by the tanker driver and his conductor who tampered with the fuel tanker at Itobe near Ajaokuta.

They allegedly sold out some of the fuel and, in the process, they could not properly cover the valve which started gushing fuel onto the bridge.

The Guardian reports that the driver of the 33,000 litres capacity tanker made desperate efforts to stop the fuel that was pouring from the side valves, and in that moment there was outburst of fire which engulfed them.

There are reports that a motorcyclist, who was attempting to overtake a Toyota Haice bus conveying some correspondents slipped and fell on the road.

It was at the fall that his silencer scraped the bridge already wet with fuel, hence giving a spark that ignited the flames.

About 14 members of the Kogi state correspondent chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) who were returning from a party campaign rally in Olamaboro Local Council escaped the explosion narrowly.

Their Toyota Haice bus caught fire from the underside, and a stampede reportedly ensued inside the bus.

Two correspondents of Leadership and Vanguard newspapers, Sam Egwu and Bolu Obahopo, sustained various degrees of injury when they jumped out from the moving vehicle.

The fire was put out with a fire extinguisher, after all the other correspondents had alighted safely.

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Those who suffered injuries were taken to the Crestwood Hospital, Ajaokuta, for treatment.

Tanker explosions are becoming a nightmare for Nigerian road users, as statistics show that between March and July only, more than 120 Nigerians were killed from accidents involving fuel tankers and articulated vehicles.

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