THERE was pandemonium along Palm Street in the Calabar South axis of Cross River State on Saturday when a tanker laden with petrol crushed an unidentified young man to death.
Following the killing, a mob descended on the tanker conductor and clubbed him to death while the driver reportedly escaped.
The accident, Southern City News learnt, was due to brake failure.
It was also learnt that when the brakes failed, the tanker driver rammed into some vehicles along the street where a traditional marriage was taking place and smashed the skull of one of the guests at the party, killing him instantly.
The traditional marriage guests were seated by the sidewalk along the narrow road.
An eyewitness, Jonah Nsikak, said there was serious confusion following the devastation, which brought the marriage ceremony to an abrupt end.
According to Nsikak, “Instead of celebrating, the crowd was crying over the sudden death of one of them. The guests were seating along the sidewalk on the road when the accident occurred.
“Of course, nobody knew such a thing could happen, but the moment it happened, the angry guests carried out reprisal attack by descending on the conductor. They clubbed him to death. The driver escaped.
“In fact, the place became so rowdy that the party was brought to an abrupt end. I wonder what the person celebrating would have been going through on a day that was meant to be his happiest day. His own friend was killed by a tanker driver. It is sad.”
It took the intervention of security agents to bring the situation under control as the angry guests were warming up for further action.
None of the guests were willing to speak with our correspondent on the matter.
Another eyewitness, Akaninyene Etim, said the driver in an attempt to stop the vehicle, rammed into series of cars that were parked along the road and in the process, crushed the young man.
“The tanker was actually going to supply petrol at the filing station along Palm Street when the accident happened. The death of that young man pained the guests and that explains the instant attack on the driver. It was unfortunate,” Etim said.