Okobe petrol fire disaster death toll rises to 124 – FRSC

17 July 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The death toll from Okobe petrol tanker disaster rose to 124 on Monday, up from 95, the Rivers Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Dr Kayode Olagunju, said.

Olagunju said that the number was arrived at, based on additional deaths from various hospitals.

“We are still battling with the actual injury figures as a lot of victims were transferred from one hospital to the other which could result in multiple counting.

“Some victims initially went home for traditional treatment while some headed for private clinics,’’ Olagunju said, adding that the commission would liaise with other agencies and the Rivers Government to collate a more realistic figure.

The Okobe tragedy occurred around 6.30 a.m on Thursday following the crash of a petrol-carrying tanker and three other vehicles on the Ahoda-Mbiama east-west road in Rivers.

People around thronged the scene scrambling for spilled petrol, resulting in the flame which consumed the dead and the injured, according to FRSC which added that 34 motor-cycles were also burnt during the incident.

The 87 bodies burnt beyond recognition were given mass burial at the scene of the disaster on the same day, while six identified bodies were released to family members. (NAN)

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