Huge sum of monies said to be in billions on Thursday reportedly got burnt when two bullion vans laden with cash had a head-on collision with a tanker carrying product suspected to be petrol at Abudu, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.
Also involved were, two commercial buses coming on top speed which rammed into the collision and got trapped beneath the heavy duty vehicles which resulted in flames.
Although the number of human casualties have not been ascertained, eyewitnesses say the impact of collision resulted in fire as the tanker and two bullion vans went up in thick flames.
Thick smoke billowed into the sky while the smell of fresh naira mint could be perceived by on lookers who maintained a safe distance from the scene of disaster.
The situation led to diversion of traffic, converting the dual carriage Benin-Asaba road to a single lane. Passengers were stranded as the traffic continue to build-up on the single lane.
Meanwhile, stern looking security operatives were said to have mobilized to the scene following reinforcement from nearby security formations, apparently to ward-off invasion of the bullion vans by locals.
Contacted, Sector Commander of the FRSC, Delta State, Mr. Rindom Kumven said that multiple vehicles were involved in the crash.
Kumven stated that although the accident occurred within the jurisdiction of Edo State, he has to mobilize his men at Issele-Uku unit of his command to join in the rescue operation.
He however stated that information about the tragic incident was still scanty, adding the number of human casualties was yet to be determined by rescue operators.
“Multiple vehicles were involved in the crash, and actually there was loss of lives but I can’t give you the figure right now. The tanker was carrying a product, and that was why it went up in flames.
“For now, I can’t give you a comprehensive report about the cause of the accident but even though it occurred in Edo State, I called men at Issele-Uku to mobilize to the scene for rescue operation,” Kumven said.
However, the police formation in Edo state said said that the accident happened outside its jurisdiction.
According to the state police Public Relations Officer Moses Nkombe “the accident happened withing the jurisdiction of Delta state police command..
On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Edo, Haliru Gwandu, said he did not get any information concerning bullion vans, but a reported case of a fatal accident..
Also, the Sector Commander, FRSC in Edo, Mr Samuel Olukoya denied the burning of of bullion vans, saying his men have been busy trying to rescue those trapped and ascertain the number of casualties in the accident