Ibadan — Tragedy struck yesterday in Ibadan when a tanker carrying diesel was involved in an accident. It burnt a woman, three vehicles and several buildings, including a church.
The truck, said to be carrying diesel to a filling station in Ologuneru area of Ibadan, had its tank detached while ascending a hill in Eleyele area of the ancient town, and rolled back to hit a car before exploding.
One of the affected buildings belongs to a former Commissioner for Environment in the state.Efforts by the rescue team comprising of men of the Department of State Security Services (DSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to rescue the woman from the inferno was unsuccessful. She was burnt before recognition.
Many wept uncontrollably as her charred body was being pulled out from the wreckage of the tank. An eyewitness, who identified himself as Lekan, said the accident occurred around 12p.m.
He said the tanker was ascending the hill when the driver suddenly lost control. The truck was rolling down the hill when the tank detached from the body of the truck.
"The tank rolled over a wine-coloured Nissan Almera car behind it and caught fire immediately. The intensity of the fire made it difficult for people around to render any assistance to the woman, who was trapped in the car."
He added that more than five houses were destroyed in the inferno, as the diesel flowed towards the Eleyele River, which is about 300 meters from the scene of the accident.
One of the destroyed properties was a church known as Save and Serve Ministry, which was lately rebuilt after a section of it was affected by the ongoing construction work on the Ologuneru road.
The driver of the truck said to be a young man, it was gathered fled the scene for fear of being lynched by angry sympathizers.Also, a Mazda car marked Lagos LSR 208 EJ, which was parked in the compound of the ex-commissioner's residence was partly burnt.
The state's Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the incident, said policemen had been sent to the accident scene.
Meanwhile, six national women leaders of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC), have lost their lives in an auto crash in Kaduna, on their way back from the inauguration of the church in Kebbi State on Sunday.
The accident happened along Kajuru junction, Maraba Rido Kachi road in Chikun Local Council. They have however been buried. Mrs. Lydia Nuhu Idzi, who is the wife of former ERCC secretary general and vice chairman Sanga local council in Kaduna State, was one of the 13 people that were burnt beyond recognition.
The Federal Road Safety Corps' (FRSC) Sector Head of Operations, Kaduna, Salish Galadunci, who confirmed the accident said: "The vehicles were trying to dodge a motorcyclist who was crossing the road when it collided with another oncoming car and immediately went up in flame, roasting about 13 of the 18 persons in a Toyota Hummer bus with number plate AKW 60 XA.
"The first vehicle in front which was on speed tried avoiding the Okada but instead ran into a ditch by the roadside and the other vehicle following, also rammed into the bus in front and there was fire. Eighteen persons were involved, while five persons got injured, 12 were dead burnt alive," he said.