Sad Tragedy of Free Fuel Hoarding Leading to Fires and Explosions
Another tragedy occured today (November 26) in Ghana as more than 20 people were killed in a fire after a tanker truck crash. They had been gathering the free fuel when the fire happened. It joins a long list of similar tragedies in West Africa, as people driven by poverty try to gather free fuel from accidents or pipelines.
In August, a free fuel give-away in London, UK caused traffic mayhem and had to be shut down by local politicians.
ACCRA, Nov 26 (Reuters) - More than 20 people were killed and many others seriously injured when a tanker truck carrying fuel caught fire after it crashed in western Ghana on Wednesday, police and an eyewitness said. The tanker crashed near the town of Tanoso, some 240 km (150 miles) from the capital Accra and close to Ghana's border with Ivory Coast. The vehicle exploded in flames as local people were collecting spilled petrol. "At least 23 residents of Tanoso were burned beyond recognition when the tanker from which they were scooping fuel caught fire," eyewitness Kofi Lawson told Reuters. "I counted at least 23 bodies that were burned to ashes," he said, speaking by phone from the crash site. "On hearing the crash, the residents rushed to the scene and started siphoning the fuel off the tanker while others used bowls, buckets, enamelware -- anything they could lay hands on -- to scoop the fuel that was pouring out and unfortunately, there was a fire and an explosion and many of them got burnt," said Superintendent Solomon Nim. Many West Africans have been killed attempting to salvage leaking fuel from crash sites. In August, at least 10 people died in Cameroon as they collected petrol from an overturned tanker which exploded. In September, a similar accident in Central African Republic killed 15.
Nigeria: Fuel Tanker Catches Fire While Offloading
(Lagos)18 November 2008
Pandemonium broke out yesterday in the ever busy FEBSON Mall, located at the Herbert Macaulay Way, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, when a fuel tanker went ablaze in the process of offloading.
The inferno, which started around 4:35 p.m., sent people scampering for safety, as dark smoke covered the whole area.
Within minutes, men from the Federal Fire Service arrived to battle the fire to no avail, but the effort was enough to prevent it from spiraling out of control and engulfing surrounding buildings, especially the FEBSON Mall.
However, NNPC Fire Service men, assisted by heroic men of the Civil Defence finally put off the fire to the delight of onlookers. At the end, more than 10 fire fighting vehicles belonging to Federal Fire Service, FCT Fire Service, NNPC Fire Service and Civil Defence, combined to deal with the situation.
Although Julius Berger sent its emergency fire service, it arrived rather late, as the fire had been put off.
Over 30 killed in Nigeria fuel pipline fire: Police
Lagos, Dec 26 (AP) A ruptured gasoline pipeline exploded in flames, killing at least 34 people near Nigeria's main city of Lagos as they tried to scoop fuel from the gushing leak, police said today.
The incident occured yesterday at Agbogbo, a village near the coastal city of Lagos."We counted a total of 34 bodies at the scene," Lagos police spokesman Frank Mbah told reporters. Nigerian Red Cross official Abiodun Orebiyi confirmed dozens of deaths and injuries, but said the final toll was not yet clear.
Police said they counted at least 21 bodies, and that more than 20 had been taken to hospital, some in a critical condition.