Over 40 persons have been feared dead in Felele Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State at the early hours of Wednesday after a tanker conveying petrol allegedly had break failure and lost control a few metres to the gate of the Kogi state polytechnic, Lokoja.
Eyewitnesses say a family of seven; father, mother and five children and over 40 other corpses have been recovered and deposited to the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja.
The eyewitnesses also said a bus conveying school children was burnt beyond recognition while students of the state polythenic who just returned for the completion of their academic session after the covid-19 break were among the victims burnt to death during the inferno.
Efforts to capture the incident failed as angry youths beat up journalists that arrived at the venue to report on the accident.
It was gathered that the convoy of the Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja, and the governor’s wife who promptly made their way towards the venue could not gain access as angry youths were still displaying their anger with roads blocked.
It was also gathered that men of the fire service were nowhere close to the scene of the incident, leaving officers of the FRSC and other security agencies on ground to handle the situation.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, expressed shock over the fatal tanker explosion.
Bello in a statement signed by his Chief Press secretary, Onogwu Mohammed, also expressed his deepest condolences to the family of those affected in the tragic occurrence.
He described the incident as the greatest tragedy the state has witnessed in recent times and urged the students of Kogi State Polytechnic to remain calm, stressing that he also shares in their pain over the death of some of their colleagues in the accident.