A devastating fuel tanker explosion in Rivers State claimed the lives of three individuals on Tuesday. The tragic event occurred around 9:00 a.m. when a petrol tanker veered off the road, colliding with a taxi and erupting into flames at the Obiri Ikwerre flyover on the East-West Road.

SP Grace Iringe-Koko, spokesperson for the Rivers Police Command, confirmed the fatalities, stating that the car’s occupants were severely burnt beyond recognition. “Three persons perished after a tanker carrying petrol fell on a commercial vehicle at the Obiri Ikwerre flyover,” she reported.

The inferno, which followed the collision, was eventually extinguished by the Fire Service. However, the area remains cordoned off due to ongoing petrol leakage, posing further risks. Commissioner of Police, Tunji Disu, and Iringe-Koko were on site to assess the aftermath of the incident.


In response to the explosion, traffic has been diverted from the affected flyover to alternate routes to prevent additional casualties. The diversion aims to manage the extensive gridlock that has developed, stretching several kilometres along the road.

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A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who visited the scene described the charred remains of the vehicle and victims, painting a grim picture of the incident’s severity. The explosion happened just a few kilometres from the Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and the University of Port Harcourt.

Eyewitness Ebiere Faith recounted the powerful impact of the explosion, noting that it was felt kilometres away from her office. The magnitude of the blast highlights the dangerous nature of the tanker’s cargo and the critical need for stringent safety measures.

The accident also compounded traffic woes on the East-West Road, which connects to the N200 billion Ring Road project currently under construction by the Rivers Government. The explosion not only caused loss of life but also significant disruption to the region’s traffic flow.