From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
The death toll from yesterday’s Petrol tanker explosion in Ahumbe Gwer local government area of Benue State has risen to over 100.
The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC Baba Aliyu who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday, said he and his men slept at the scene of the inferno evacuating the victims to different hospitals including the General Hospital, Aliade, St. Vincent Hospital, Aliade, Airforce Hospital, Makurdi, Federal Medical Center, Apir, Bishop Murray Catholic Hospital,Makurdi and Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH.
When our correspondent visited the BSUTH, it was learnt that one out of the ten persons admitted died yesterday morning even as more survivors were brought in by relatives.
The Chief Medical Director Terlumun Swende lamented that the degree of burn is serious with the least persons suffering over 75 percent.
He said the hospital has made adequate arrangement to treat the injured persons, intimating that doctors from the epidemiology unit of the State Ministry of Health as well as doctors without borders are assisting them in resuscitation the victims, adding that the hospital has set up an Emergency response Unit made up of plastic and general surgeons to help out.
“We are deploying every resources and all contacts available to salvage the situation”, the CMD said.
Relations of one of the victims Solomon Ka, Rev. Fr. Jacob Aku, which is in charge of the St. Augustine Catholic Mission, Makurdi said his nephew, a township bus driver was conveying passengers when his vehicle got entrapped in the inferno, saying that many persons in the vehicle died.
“He was earlier admitted at Bishop Murray hospital where we were told that his condition is very critical and referred he to BSUTH. Even here, we are told by the doctors that he may not survive and would have to be transferred to University Teaching Hospital, Enugu”, Fr. Aku said worryingly.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has lamented over the tanker fire explosion which claimed scores of lives, describing it as painful and devastating.
In a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary Terver Akase, the Governor said he is deeply saddened by the loss of many lives in the petrol tanker fire yesterday at Ahumbe, Gwer East Local Government Area.
He consoled with families of those who lost their lives in the inferno and prayed God to grant them eternal rest.
Governor Ortom assured survivors of the fire that the State Government will assist in payment of their medical bills.