Home Latest News 57 bodies identified as Onitsha tanker fire death toll rises to 70

57 bodies identified as Onitsha tanker fire death toll rises to 70

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•Four newspaper vendors, distributors dead •Buhari, others condole with families

ONITSHA, the Southeast’s commercial engine-room, was still in a tragic mood yesterday.

A tanker loaded with petrol on Sunday hit a house and exploded in a huge ball of fire, killing 69 residents.

The death toll went up by one yesterday.

Among the dead were four members of the Onitsha Newspaper distribution, Directors Association (ONDDA).

This was confirmed by the vice chairman of the association, Mr. Emmanuel Uwakwe.

Besides, the Vice Chairman of the Red Cross Society of Nigeria in Anambra state, Prof. Peter Katchy, said yesterday that one of the drivers who was taken to the hospital on Sunday after the incident had died, bringing the death toll to 70.

Katchy said 57 of the hospitalised victims burnt beyond recognition had been identified. Thirteen are yet to be identified.

The Red Cross helmsman said the evacuation of bodies was continuing at Toronto Hospital in Onitsha to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital for forensic analysis.

Vice Chairman of the Vendors Assocaition in Onitsha, Mr. Uwakwe, said the association lost two distributors and two vendors – Ifeanyi Nzekwe, one simply identified as “local man”, Ifeoma and a new vendor whose name he did not remember.

Uwakwe said: “We are in pains and agony. We have visited the injured ones at the hospital. Honestly, what happened on Sunday was a national calamity”.

The senator-elect for Anambra Central Zone, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, has condoled with the families of those that died.

Ekwunife, who cut short her official engagement to visit the scene at Upper Iweka, was sad over the loss of lives and property.

Anambra Central Zone comprises seven local government areas, including the Upper Iweka Area where the incident happened.

Ekwunife said: “It is unfortunate that we continue to lose our loved ones in such careless and difficult situations.

“I want to express my deepest condolences to the families that lost their loved ones in the ugly incident and pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased”

“I promise to make legislation alongside my fellow senators that would put an end to such horrible incidents on Nigerian roads,” Mrs Ekwunife said.

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