At least seven people were killed on Wednesday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, after a petrol tanker crashed into two petrol stations.
The accident occurred at the busy Shasha market, located at Benin-Owo road in Akure.
The petrol-laden truck crashed into two filling stations, destroying some fuel pumps.
SaharaReporters observed that men of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) were at the scene to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. Officers of the Fire Brigade Service were also on ground to forestall fire outbreak.
Several eyewitnesses who spoke to SaharaReporters said the truck was fully loaded with 33,000 litres of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), before the driver lost control of the wheel and veered off the road.
One of the witnesses, Ali Mustapha, narrated how the accident occured in the early hours of Wednesday when the traders were arriving at the market. Mustapha also said he lost his friend, a road-side mechanic to the fatal accident.
“I was setting up my wares for the day’s business when I heard a loud noise from afar that the driver had lost control of the wheels. And before we knew it, the truck, whose brake had failed, crashed into other shops beside mine and crushed people to death. Sadly, a good friend of mine who sells ‘suya’, was among the people that lost their lives during the incident,” he said.
Another witness, Funke Akinsanmi, explained how she narrowly escaped death.
Akinsanmi said she was inside the World Class Travels Filling Station when the truck driver rammed into people along the road.
“I had just finished buying fuel from the filling station when this driver rammed his truck into the people and killed the traders. I counted nothing less than seven dead bodies lying flat on the floor as it was a gory accident,” she said.
Segun Ogungbemide, Deputy Head of Operations of the FRSC, Ondo State Command, stated that the fatal accident was caused by overspeeding and failure of the brake.
He said: “Immediately we heard about the accident, our men rushed down to the scene for a rescue mission. But during our assessment, we all observed that truck driver was overspeeding.
“He was driving along the Benin-Owo road by Shasha Market and in the process, he lost control of the wheels and his brake failed. He rammed into people who might be traders on the road and we could only evacuate three dead bodies from the scene, while those injured were rushed to the hospital.”
He advised motorists plying the expressway to alway drive with extra caution.
“Especially now that December is here, we want our drivers and motorists to be careful,” he said. “We are pleading with them.”