Nigerian Gas Tanker Hits Bus Station in Onitsha, Burning Dozens Alive

Dozens of people were burned alive after a gas tanker truck lost control and careened into a busy bus station in southern Nigeria on Monday, a Red Cross official told NBC News.

Nwankpa Nwankpa, the chief spokesperson for the Nigerian Red Cross, put the death toll at 69 following the accident in the city of Onitsha.

"So many people were burned beyond recognition," Nwankpa told NBC News via telephone.

Anambra State Police Commissioner H. H. Karma said 42 people had died and 70 others were injured.

The tanker lost control when it went down a hill and slammed into the bus station which was full of vehicles loading passengers on and off, the officials said. The fire engulfed a dozen 15-seater buses and dozens of people aboard were burned alive when the vehicles burst into flames.

Gruesome amateur video shot on the scene and posted on social media showed at least a dozen charred bodies lined up on the ground.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer but has been suffering energy shortages in recent month because it lacks the capacity to refine its own resources into fuel. It is almost wholly reliant on imports for the 40 million liters of gasoline it consumes each day, according to Reuters.