The Nigerian Red Cross Society has given insight into how a tanker loaded with petroleum lost control, rammed into the Asaba Motor Park at Upper Iweka in Onitsha, Anambra State and exploded killing no less than 69 persons.
Eleven vehicles, mostly commuter buses and two motorcycles inside Asaba Park, and the fuel tanker were completely burnt to ashes aside the human beings were roasted to the death in the unfortunate incident.
The Chairman of the society, Professor Peter Kathy, said: “Presently, we have 69 people burnt to death and 30 casualties. The dead have been evacuated to various mortuaries in Onitsha”.
Narrating how the accident happened, Kathy said “The tanker driver lost his break while descending the hill from Boromeo and Army Barracks end of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway towards Upper Iweka.
“Instead of looking for a wide gutter to break his speed, he veered into a park, where commercial vehicles were taking on passengers. Most of the people that died were inside vehicles in the park.
“If the driver of the tanker were alive, he would have been arraigned in the court because it is multiple murder. He was reckless. He knew he was fully loaded with petrol and yet he decided to direct his vehicle into a motor park.
“He does not care for human lives. How can you veer into a park where you know buses were filled with people, when the road is wide enough for you to control your vehicle?”
Meanwhile, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and one of his commissioners could not hold back their emotions when they visited the scene of the accident. It was a gory sight.
The governor told relatives of the victims to take heart and promised that the state would help in ensuring that those who survived were well taken care of.