Tragedy Strikes Eleme Section of East-West Road: Gov Laments Loss of Lives & Property

By Jemimah Wellington and Helen Okechukwu, JKNMedia Reporters

RIVERS State Governor Siminalayi Fubara has expressed deep sorrow over a tragic fire incident caused by a tanker carrying premium motor spirit (PMS), which resulted in severe casualties and extensive damages to vehicles.

The incident occurred between Indorama Gate and Aleto Bridge on the Eleme section of the East-West Road, currently undergoing reconstruction by the Federal Government.

Fubara, accompanied by State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, and Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Uchechukwu Nwafor, visited the scene on Saturday morning.

The governor recounted receiving a distress call from the Managing Director of Indorama Petrochemical and Fertilizer Company Limited, alerting him to the incident.

Taking swift action, Fubara immediately dispatched security agencies to the scene to manage the situation and prevent further escalation, expressing dismay at the devastating aftermath witnessed at the scene and highlighted the significant loss of lives and property.

Acknowledging the urgency of the situation, Fubara instructed relevant government agencies to provide comprehensive reports for informed decision-making, and emphasized the for swift support for affected families and mitigation measures to alleviate their suffering.

Fubara further lamented the avoidable nature of the tragedy, urging motorists to exercise caution, especially on hazardous routes like the Eleme section of the East-West Road.

Despite the irreparable damage, the governor pledged to explore measures to mitigate the impact of the incident and ensure better safety measures in the future.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the deaths of four people in the tanker explosion that occurred on Friday night at East-West Road near Indorama Gate in Eleme Local Government Area.

Grace Iringe-Koko, the police spokeswoman, a Superintendent of Police, stated in a statement shared via the state police Facebook page on Saturday that a pregnant woman was among the people who lost their lives.

She added that those who sustained injuries have been moved to a hospital close to the scene of the incident.

In the announcement, it was learned that over seventy cars were damaged, and several individuals were also affected.

Iringe-Koko said that with the combined forces of the firefighter and the police, the fire that erupted several vehicles was put under control whilst the actual number of casualties is yet to be ascertained.

Rivers’ Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu and others sympathized with the affected victims asserting that in ensuring the neighbourhood is safe and conducive, the police commission is on the ground to maintain orderliness as the evacuation of affected cars is ongoing.

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