LAGOS: More than 100 people who rushed to scoop up fuel after a Nigerian petrol tanker tipped over on Thursday were killed when the vehicle and pools of spilled oil caught fire.
Children were among those killed, while dozens more were badly burned, despite a warning from troops who arrived at the crash site that a blaze could ignite at any moment.
The tanker driving in the southern Rivers state swerved as it was trying to avoid a collision with three oncoming vehicles including a bus, said Kayode Olagunju, head of the state’s Federal Road Safety Commission.
Shortly after the collision hundreds of locals in the Ahoada area flocked to the scene to collect the spilling fuel.
Some troops who reached the crash site before the fire broke out told people to clear off, but many ignored the warning, an official from the National Emergency Management Agency said.
Forces from the military’s Joint Task Force “got to the scene before us. They warned people to leave the scene to avoid disaster.