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Don’t blame us for scooping fuel, blame the government – Victim of tanker explosion
A burnt victim of the Okogbe Tanker explosion that consumed over 98 people had vented his anger and frustration on the government that has put them in penury, which has resulted into a tragedy that can best be imagined. The victim who had preferred not to be mentioned managed to speak with our correspondent, Adoyi Abah Ali in a telephone conversion from one of the private hospitals in Port Harcourt where he was rushed to, after the explosion.
“ I know many people will begin to blame us for attempting to scoop fuel, but what else can someone do to survive when to eat in Nigeria has become a difficult task already.” He said
The victim who narrated that over 150 people thronged to the site of the incident to scoop fuel after a tanker ran into a ditch in the driver’s desperate attempt to avoid a head on collision with a commercial bus, said that he made his way to the scene like every other person, believing that he could make small money from the sale of the fuel in order to send his child back to school.
In his most pathetic tone, he said “I thought it was an opportunity to get money from the fuel I went to scoop in order to send my son who has been home for over two weeks back to school. I didn’t know that the day would turn dark within that few hours of our hustle. In my struggle to escape the inferno, I saw people being brought down by the fireballs. Most people who fell to the inferno died in penury, they died with tears in their eyes. Will any governor’s son or senator’s son take that kind of risk? We die like chickens and cheaply in Nigeria because we take extreme risk to survive” he concluded
It was reported that more than five buses and many motorbikes were consumed by the inferno, which also affected a section of a filling station, some distance away from the scene of the incident.
Another eyewitness had narrated that the residents rushed to the scene where fuel from the fallen tanker was gushing out and began to fetch into containers. While everybody was busy scooping fuel and struggling to have access to the best place in order to scoop, the tanker exploded trapping virtually everybody in the ditch, and extending to the road where people carrying fuel on bikes were also caught by the inferno.
Some people who were fortunate to have escaped in the most narrow way told our reporter that they suspect a spark at the process when the fuel was being scooped, stating that people were seen struggling to scoop fuel.