Seven persons have been confirmed dead following a tanker explosion in Oshigbudu, Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.
The Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Emmanuel Shior confirmed this to Channels Television on Sunday in Makurdi, the state capital.
He said about 50 houses were destroyed from the information he got the local government chairman, adding that a detailed assessment would be carried out tomorrow when he visits the scene of the explosion.
Shior conveyed the condolences of the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom who he said, has directed for a comprehensive audit of the fire incident and report back.
He also commiserated with those who lost their loved ones and properties to the fire.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports and an indigene of the area, Ojotu Ojeme, had confirmed the incident via his Facebook post.
He also commiserated with the victims of the explosion, calling on the government at all levels and spirited individuals to help residents of the area.
“The fire inferno at Oshugbudu in Agatu local Government, my local government of origin today, 18-04-2021 which has claimed so many lives and destroyed properties yet to be quantified, is the Chief of all the calamities that have fallen us this year,” he said.
“As I pray God to comfort the good people of Agatu and most especially those directly involved, over the lost, I wish to call on Government at all levels and spirited individuals to come to our aids in order to drastically reduce the effect of the disaster on the people. Once again may God grant us the fortitude to bear the huge loss.”
This comes amid an amateur video sent by an eyewitness which showed many houses, shops and properties were also destroyed in the inferno.
Agatu local government area is some four hours drive from Makurdi, the Benue State capital and help from this axis is unlikely as the fire is believed to have gone out of control.
Many residents of the area called for help from relevant authorities to come to their rescue as the only fire station is in Otukpo Local Government Area, a one hour thirty minutes drive from the scene of the fire.