Three people died following a tanker explosion on the Obiri-Ikwerre Flyover along the East-West Road in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday.

The incident occurred at around 9:30 a.m. when a tanker, believed to be carrying liquefied natural gas, overturned while navigating the roundabout, crushing a vehicle and then exploding.

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Police Public Relations Officer Grace Iringe-Koko confirmed the incident in a telephone conversation.

She stated that the victims were burnt beyond recognition when the tanker fell on their vehicle.

“Yes, I can confirm that two persons died in the tanker fire. Myself and the Commissioner of Police are on the ground as I speak to you,” she said.

“The fire has been put out, but the area is still dangerous because the gas is still leaking. Motorists are advised to take alternative routes to avoid any further casualties.”

The explosion’s impact was felt kilometers away, with some residents reporting smashed windows and vibrations.

At the time of reporting, firefighters were working to extinguish the blaze while a crowd of onlookers gathered around, with a heavy security presence observed.

A mild drama ensued when a suspected scavenger tried to steal parts of the truck but was apprehended by the crowd and handed over to the police.

This explosion comes a month after a similar tanker explosion occurred along the Eleme axis of the same East-West Road, claiming four lives and destroying over 60 vehicles.