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Fire guts over 50 shops, houses in tanker explosion

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Woman crushed to death in Ekiti

Five houses and 49 shops were gutted by fire in an explosion that occurred at Lambata town, Gawu Babangida Local Government Area of Niger State on Sunday night when a tanker loaded with 36,000 litres of PMS collided with a trailer.

However, no life was lost, as the incident occurred on a day when most of the traders did not open their shops and as a result of very few movements of people at the time of the incident.

According to an eyewitness, the two trucks were trying to avoid a bad portion of the road without either of them exercising patience for the other. The resultant collision caused the fuel-laden tanker to spill its contents and ignited the fire.

Officials of the State Emergency Management Agency were at Lambatta yesterday to assess the situation. The Director-General of the agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga, described the situation as “sad,” adding that: “We will compile our report and send it to the appropriate authority.”

Inga, however, expressed sadness at the loss of valuable items and urged those affected to take it as “an act of God. We are happy no life was lost.”

The state’s Commissioner of Police, Adamu Usman, said the loaded petrol tanker coming from Minna to Suleja skidded off the road and ran into a mosque at Lambata, where it exploded.

Meanwhile, tragedy struck yesterday in Irasa Ekiti, a farmstead at Ado Ekiti, the state capital, when a woman identified as Toyin Omolewa was crushed to death while trying to cross the Ado-Iworoko dual carriageway.

The accident, which occurred at about 10:00 a.m. in front of the state abattoir, attracted sympathisers.

An eyewitness confirmed that the accident involved a Volvo S40 Saloon car, with registration number LAGOS KTU 280 DS allegedly owned by an operative of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Having hit the victim and overran her, the car, according to an eyewitness, also somersaulted where the front tyres and windscreen got damaged in the process.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the death of the woman, said the command got information on the crash and quickly deployed its men in the area to calm frayed nerves.

Abutu said some commuters rushed the accident victim to the hospital but were later confirmed dead.

The PPRO said the body of the woman had been deposited in the morgue of the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) in Ado-Ekiti.

According to him, “the suspect who drove the car that caused the accident, which killed the woman, is currently in our custody.”

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