Benue mourns as victims of tanker explosion get mass burial
Benue State Government has set out Wednesday for the mass burial of victims of a tanker explosion at Ahumbe village, whose bodies have been burnt beyond recognition.
Ahumbe is a village situated on Makurdi-Aliade Federal Highway in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State.
The Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, disclosed this in Makurdi, in a chat with newsmen.
Abounu said the victims would be buried on Wednesday at the village where the incident occurred and identified bodies are allowed to be taken by their relatives for proper burial.
“As I am talking to you now the total number of deaths is 48, and we still have over 90 people who are receiving treatment across hospitals in the state.
“There were a good number of people who were burnt beyond recognition that even their relations, to pointedly say this is my relation, has become very difficult.
“Today we have decided that for people in this group, we are going to give them mass burial somewhere in Gwer Local Government, near Ahumbe, where the explosion took place.
“But any family that is able to recognize their loved ones can take them away and give them a benefiting burial.
“Unfortunately, the victims cut across ages, the youngest is about nine years old is in Aliade hospital, there is also an 11-year-old too at FMC Makurdi,’’ the deputy governor explained.
He described the explosion as “shocking” saying the survivors suffered between 30 to 90 per cent degrees burns.
Abounu disclosed that the occupants of the Toyota bus, which silencer ignited the fire on the tar and resulted in the explosion, were coming from Cross River State, where they went for burial of a relative.
He commended the Federal Road Safety Corps, Red Cross, Nigeria Police Force and Benue State Fire Service, for the humanitarian services they rendered during the unfortunate accident.
He equally commended the various hospitals rendering medical services to the victims, noting that they commenced treatment of victims without demanding for money.
He also assured the two fire service officials who sustained injuries while trying to assist victims at the scene of the explosion, that their services would not be in vain.
Abouno said one of the fire officials was in the intensive care unit while the other, who suffered 30-degree burns, was being treated.