From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Benue State Command, Mr. Aliyu Baba has said that 37 person has died from Monday’s Tanker explosion in Ahumbe Village in Gwer East Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking to newsmen in his office in Makurdi today, Aliyu Baba said the number could be more as 101 casualties with various degrees of burns are in eight hospitals in the state where they are receiving medical treatment.
Recall that a tanker carrying fuel exploded on Monday evening at Ahumbe Village along Aliade–Makurdi highway in Gwer East Local Government Area of the state after it skidded off the road and fell at the middle of the road.
Mr Aliyu Baba said the the explosion occured twice. While the first occured, villagers had gathered to lend helping hand to the victims when the second explosion occured leading to the high number of casualties including travellers and passers-by.
The Sector Commander also disclosed that people who were taking pictures to post on the social media and two firemen who had gone to the scene to put out the fire were also caught in the second explosion.
Chief Medical Director of BSUTH, Prof Terrumun Swende told journalists that all the victims being treated in the hospital sustained more than 75 degree burns.
He said the hosoital has since Monday evening, received up to 10 patients, all of them came in in very critical condition explaining that “A good number of them has what we call inhilational injuries and are kept in the Intensive Care Unit, ICU, and our surgeons and team have long swing into action.
Dr Swende said the hospital is working with international organizations like the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, state government and other to care for the victims.
He said because of the high number of victims, other victims have been taken to the Airforce Hospital, Federal medical Centre, FMC, Makurdi, General Hospital Aliade and at St. Vincent Hospital. “As time goes on, the most critical ones will be moved here so that they can get the attention they deserve,” he said.
He said the hospital have deployed all resources available to them while hospital staff have been on their toes since Monday evening to ensure the situation is salvaged.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has expressed deeply sadness over the loss of many lives in the petrol tanker fire in the state.
Ortom who described the incident as painful and devastating consoled families of those who lost their lives in the inferno and prays God to grant them eternal rest.
Governor Ortom in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase assured survivors that State Government will assist in payment of their medical bills.