Lagos, Oct 11: At least 70 people were burned alive when a fuel tanker truck exploded in Nigeria, after a policeman fired a shot to keep passersby away from a road accident, newspapers said on Saturday, Oct 11.
The truck hit a pothole and overturned on Friday, Oct 9 on the road between Onitsha and Enugu in the south of the country, spilling its cargo of petrol, witnesses and police told the papers.
According to several witness, the truck exploded when a policeman who wanted to distance inquisitive onlookers fired his gun in the air. One witness said that people had been trying to scoop up and recover the spilled petrol.
"Immediately the policeman shot into the air, the tanker burst into flames that engulfed other vehicles that were close by and also trapped some of the people that were gathered around the scene who were not fast enough to escape," a witness told The Nation newspaper.