A fuel tanker on a road in the oil-rich area of the Niger Delta in Nigeria crashed, exploded, and caught fire, killing 95 people.
The tanker crashed on the busy East-West road, and before it exploded a number of people gathered around to scoop into jerry cans fuel that was spilling out. It is not clear if the fuel spilled out after the tanker crashed, or if someone tapped into it.
The tanker had apparently swerved to avoid a collision with a commercial vehicle, then fell on its side into a ditch.
Pregnant women and children were among those killed. Local residents helped take burnt victims to nearby hospitals on their motorbikes, the Vanguard newspaper reported.
There have been reports in recent years of Nigerians sabotaging oil pipelines in the Delta region to steal fuel.
“As I speak to you, we do not know the number or extent of casualties at the scene,” Ben Ugwuegbulam, a spokesperson with a local police bureau, told the Nigeria-based Daily Times publication.
“We have cordoned off the area to ensure that miscreants do not take laws into their hands. We also want to know what exactly caused the inferno,” he added.At least five buses and numerous motorcycles were destroyed in the subsequent blaze, which also compromised part of a fuel filling station, according to the Vanguard.