ABOUT SIX lives were lost at the popular ‘Onyema’ mines axis of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway when a petrol tanker rammed into a moving vehicle, crushed all the passengers and later burst into flames.

The incident took place at about 7.30 pm on Friday.

Though sources said about 20 people were burnt beyond recognition, but a statement signed by the Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, put the number of casualties at two.

As at the time of filing this report, yesterday, traffic along the ever busy Enugu-Onitsha road was still witnessing traffic

gridlock.

The ‘Onyeama’ mines axis of the Enugu-Onitsha double lane express road is prone to accidents due to the topography of that particular spot, but this unfortunate accident was extraordinary.

The inferno from the tanker, which had a brake failure, affected more than six other vehicles conveying passengers on both sides of the road.

Unfortunately, help could not come from anywhere. The state fire service is stationed at the heart of the town and is not within reach coupled with the time of the accident.

Flames from the burning tanker spread across the two lanes of the road and it was impossible for commuters travelling from Enugu or coming into Enugu to attempt to move close. This caused serious

traffic gridlock.

Those who insisted on getting to their destination the same night had no other option than to drive back to Enugu metropolis and bear the risk of driving through ‘Milken’ hill in Enugu Ngwo Community and then burst out at 9th Mile Corner, to rejoin the Enugu-Onitsha expressway.

Likewise, commuters who were going to Enugu from Onitsha had to pass through Ngwo community before entering Enugu metropolis.

Notably, under normal circumstances, most commuters abhor passing through Milken hill, which is the foremost road linking Enugu to Onitsha due to the tiny and meandering nature of the road amidst steep and deep slopes that can throw a vehicle into endless depths at any slightest mistake.


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