Tragedy befell Army Children Primary School, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State on Thursday afternoon as no fewer than six students of the school were crushed to death by a fuel-laden tanker.
Witnesses said that the accident occurred at around 3pm directly opposite the Gen. David Ejoor Barracks of the Nigerian Army in Effurun near Warri.
The students were reportedly returning from school when the tanker suddenly ran into them.
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The PUNCH gathered that three of the deceased students are siblings.
Apart from the students who reportedly died on the spot, some others were said to have been left with varying degrees of injuries and were rushed to the nearby Army Hospital inside Effurun Barracks and the Central Hospital, Warri for medical attention.
It was gathered that 12 students were rushed to the Central Hospital Warri. Of the number, a source said that nine of them were confirmed dead on arrival while three others were reportedly referred to the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, after being stabilised.
The exact number of pupils involved in the accident was yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.
A joint team of the Nigerian Army, Federal Road Safety Corps and other security agencies were seen making frantic efforts to recover the remaining students trapped under the tanker as a crane was drafted to the scene to pull off the tanker.
Firefighters were also drafted to the scene to prevent a fire outbreak.
Consequently, the accident resulted in a heavy traffic jam along the ever-busy Effurun/NPA Road.
Confirming the gory incident, the acting Police Public Relations Officer for Delta State Command, DSP Bright Edafe, told journalists that six students were crushed to death, adding that “the number is tentative”.
However, the PPRO could not ascertain the whereabouts of the driver of the ill-fated tanker as of the time of filing this report.