A petrol tanker said to be coming from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Depot in Calabar, Cross River State, crashed into a pavement, killing at least six persons at Obong Itam, Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
A police team on the highway was said to have tried to flag down the truck as they noticed that the driver was driving with only one headlamp, which was allegedly not even bright.
It was gathered that the driver, in a bid to escape arrest by the police, sped off, but lost the control of the vehicle almost immediately, crashed into pavement, and trapped a tricycle.
A resident of Obong Itam, Cyril Ekpenyong, told our correspondent that the crash occurred around 8:30pm on Monday; adding that the tanker driver, his conductor, and two passengers in the tricycle that was trapped died instantly, having been burnt beyond recognition when the tanker exploded into flames.
He added that the tricycle rider and another man in the truck were taken to hospital, where two of them were later confirmed dead.
“The accident happened around 8:30pm. We saw the truck as the police were trying to flag it down because it was driving with one headlamp, which was not even bright. The driver did not mind the police as he veered to the right of the policemen for escape.
“The police did not chase after him; he unnecessarily sped off, thinking that the policemen were running after him. In a matter of minutes from where the police stood, we heard a bang.
“The tanker crashed into a pavement, killing many and pouring its content,” he said.
Victoria Inyang, an indigene of the area and student of the University of Uyo, said when she heard the bang, she thought it was a normal vehicle crash that often happens in the area.
She explained that within seconds, the crash resulted in an inferno.
The Public Relations Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Godsgift Uwen, confirmed the incident.
He said the accident happened along KM 8, Obong Itam, along Uyo-Calabar Highway on Monday around 8:30pm.
According to him, the truck crashed into a pavement, fell on a tricycle and killed four persons on the spot.
“The cause of the accident was dangerous driving. It happened around 8:30pm on Monday. The truck crashed into a pavement and hit a tricycle. As of yesterday, six persons, who were all males, had been killed,” he said.