No fewer than 20 persons were burnt to death in Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State on Sunday.
It was gathered that the victims were scooping fuel from a petrol tanker that fell and spilled its content along the Benin–Ore-Sagamu Expressway on Sunday.
According to an eyewitness, the fire was ignited by a spark from a phone held by one of the persons who were scooping fuel.
The eyewitness stated that the victims of the disaster included three children and a pregnant woman who brought a sum of N100,000 to the scene to buy fuel.
The eyewitness said, “We were inside the church when the tanker fell and spilled its contents on the road. Shortly after it fell down and spilled the fuel on the road, some persons rushed to the place to scoop fuel.
“At that time, the rain was falling. Despite that, people still rushed there and started scooping fuel when the fire started after a spark from a phone.
“At the scene, we have counted about three children and over 15 bodies we can’t identify, and also a pregnant woman that wanted to buy the fuel also died in the incident. They were burnt beyond recognition.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami, confirmed the incident and described the victims as fuel scoopers.
“They were scooping fuel from a tanker when the fire started. We have commenced an investigation into the matter,” the PPRO stated.