Nigerian police deny role in tanker disaster

LAGOS, Nigeria, Nov. 6 -- Nigerian police Monday denied any involvement in the weekend fuel-tanker accident that killed nearly 100 people.

Local residents said the police had set up a bogus roadblock to extort bribes from passengers.


A Radio France correspondent in Nigeria said a gasoline tanker approaching the roadblock hit several cars and burst into flame. The fire then spread to the other cars. The accident, which involved 11 vehicles, cut into heavy traffic on the Ife-Ibadan road in Osun State, the state police said.

The victims, including a newlywed couple, were burnt beyond recognition.

The police Monday said the accident was the result of a traffic jam. Initial reports put the toll at 100, but sources said the toll was closer to 200.

A police car that arrived on the scene Sunday was surrounded by angry villagers who chased them away and set their car ablaze.

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