A petrol tanker has caught fire along the Mbiama end of the East-West Road causing an explosion that killed an unnamed taxi driver.
The East-West Road is a major expressway linking the South-South with other regions of the country.
It was learnt that no fewer than five vehicles were burnt in the incident that occurred about 6 pm on Wednesday.
Investigation showed that three of the vehicles were completely destroyed while two were partially burnt.
The investigation further showed that as soon as the incident happened, the Bayelsa State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Ikechukwu Igwe, reportedly deployed his officials in the area in order to ensure free traffic flow along the busy expressway.
The driver of the tanker was said to have lost control of the tanker after he reportedly discharged fuel in one of the filling stations in the area.
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the tanker fell shortly after coming out of the filling station, alleging that it did not discharge all the products at that petrol station.
The source, who said the rest of the product spilt on the road, added, “We later heard a bang and fire followed it immediately.
”It caused panic in the area but the immediate presence of FRSC officials brought the situation under control. The officials were there till about 11 pm to control traffic.”
Igwe, who visited the area on Thursday morning, said only a taxi driver died in the incident.
He sympathised with persons whose vehicles were burnt.
Igwe said the deceased taxi driver, instead of fleeing the scene after the tanker collapsed, opened the bonnet of his vehicle and attempted to disconnect his battery.
The FRSC boss said in the process of trying to remove his vehicle’s battery, a spark occurred and caused the explosion.
He said, “The driver just discharged fuel at Lionman Filling Station but as he was going out, the tanker fell. The taxi man that died in the incident came out and discovered that there was no road because other drivers abandoned their vehicles and fled the area.
“The man (deceased taxi driver) decided to disconnect his vehicle’s battery and there was a spark because the remaining fuel from the tanker had spilt on the road. The spark caused the fire that killed the taxi driver and burnt five vehicles”.
Igwe added that firefighters were able to put out the fire.