Death toll in Monday’s fuel tanker explosion in Benue State have risen to 60 persons.
The tanker conveying PMS from Port Harcourt to Makurdi hit a pothole and swerved off the road at Ahumbe village, Gwer East Local Government Area.
The tanker exploded while the inhabitants of the area scooped petrol from the scene of the accident..
Those who sustained injuries from the explosion are receiving treatment in three hospitals in the state .
Some are at St Vincent Hospital Aliade, General Hospital Aliade – all in Gwer East Local Government Area – and the Federal Medical Centre, Apir, Makurdi.
A witness, Torna Upurigh, told The Nation that a 18 seated bus conveying passengers from Oju town to Makurdi ran into the fire and all the passengers died.
Some houses near the accident spot were also burnt with some residents sustaining injuries.
The Fire Service, which later intervened to put out the inferno, had one of its men seriously burnt.
Men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the police were on the ground to clear the heavy traffic jam in the area.
Information Officer of Gwer East Local Government said 50 bodies have been deposited at the mortuary and 20 people, who sustained various degree of injuries, are receiving treatment in hospitals.
Ahumbe village is located on Makurdi – Enugu road about one hour drive from Makurdi , the Benue State capital.
Police spokesperson Kate Anene, a deputy superintendent of police, warned members of the public to stop scooping fuel from fallen tankers on highways.