JULY 12, 2012
More than 100 people have died in south-eastern Nigeria after a tanker carrying petrol crashed.
The authorities say the vehicle did not immediately burst into flames so people rushed to scoop up the fuel.
But the tanker then exploded, burning many of them to death.
Journalist Emeka Idika told the BBC a mass burial for those burnt beyond recognition is about to take place in Rivers state and about 35 people have been taken to hospital.
He said the death toll may be higher as some villagers were consumed in the fire as they ran into the bush – and those bodies have not yet been located.
Another journalist, Oluchi Iwuoha Chimezie, told the BBC she had counted more than 100 dead bodies.
“Early this morning a tanker loaded with petrol fell in Okogbe and people trooped to the scene obviously to scoop the spilled fuel and suddenly there was fire resulting in casualties,” Reuters news agency quotes Rivers state police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam as saying.
The country’s road safety body said the petrol tanker had crashed into three other vehicles, Nigeria’s Daily Times reports.