By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
A midday collision by two articulated fuel tanker vehicles at Kudu town in Mokwa Local Government Area in Niger State has sparked off huge fire which killed two persons, injured several others while over a hundred houses were razed.
Properties worth several millions of Naira were destroyed in the resultant inferno just as hundreds of persons in the affected area were rendered homeless as a result of the accident.
Two articulated vehicles coming from opposite directions on the Mokwa – Kudu road, with one ladened with about 33,000 litres of petrol had collided at the mid section of the road in an attempt by one of the vehicles to overtake another vehicle.
The vehicle bearing the highly inflamable substance veered off the road after the collision and soon went off in flames with multiple huge explosions which sent tongues of flames high in the air and on the adjoining houses on the flanks of the road shoulders.
One house after another caught fire as residents looked on helplessly while the tongues of fire spread on buildings including shops and a local mosque on the adjoining sidewalk.
Sources in the area comfirmed to our correspondent in Minna that the two people killed in the fire incident were burnt beyond recognition while others escaped with injuries and various degrees of burns.
Our source further disclosed that the fire on both fuel tanker vehicle and the houses were engulfed in flames for over two hours before fire fighting engines from Bida could arrived the scene of the incident as there was such facility in and around Mokwa local government area.
The Mokwa -Jebba road is proned to frequent road carnages often with loss of lives and valuables.
Last year alone, two separate incidences involving fuel tanker vehicles and other articulated heavy duty trucks had led to conflagrations and death of more than half a dozen of road travellers and properties located on the road side.
Beside the fact that the road is narrow, with several sharp bends, reckless driving by vehicle owners particularly heavy duty vehicles is another huge human factor.