…Lagos Govt condoles with families of victims
Tragedy struck on Thursday evening when a petrol tanker driver lost control, exploded on the Otedola Axis of Berger Bridge along Lagos Ibadan Expressway and burnt nine persons to death beyond recognition as well as burnt 54 vehicles.
The ill-fated tanker was conveying over 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), when the incident occurred on Lagos –Ibadan Expressway.
Eye witness account indicated that no fewer than 10 lives were lost and many vehicles with their occupants caught in the inferno which raged with thick smoke.
The incident caused traffic jam as vehicular movement on the bridge was partially restricted to give room for rescue operations.
Men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Rapid Response Squad, Lagos Fire Service and others were on ground to manage the situation.
Outward bound passengers on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway were also caught up in the traffic gridlock.
General Manger of LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu, who confirmed the incident, said at that at about 5:23 pm, the Agency received a distress call on its Toll free line that a tanker was involved in an accident.
“On getting there, we discovered the tanker actually fell on the bridge, spilt its content which burst into flames. All the vehicles coming from behind and in front were all affected.
“A total of 53 vehicles were affected and nine lives by our count were lost. Four others were rescued and have been taken to the hospital.
“Right now we are doing recovery and trying to remove the carcass from the road,” Tiamiyu said.
An eye witness told our correspondent that the fuel-laden tanker went up in flames when a car rammed into it.
Most of the commuters plying the road at that time to their various destinations resorted to trekking while commercial motorcycle operators made brisk business conveying passengers.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has commiserated with families of victims who lost their lives and property in the fatal tanker explosion.
The State Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, described the incident as a sad development, saying that the incident was most unfortunate and regrettable.
“On behalf of the Lagos State Government, we extend our deepest commiseration to the families of persons who lost their lives as well as properties to the incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of pain and grief.
“As a government, we would not relent in putting measures in place to ensure safety of lives and property of all residents,” Bamigbetan said.
The Commissioner said that Governor Ambode has directed all relevant agencies to move into the area to normalise the apprehension that had taken over the area and to also ensure that those in need are adequately taken care of.
The governor assured that clearing of the highway of damaged vehicles to establish normal traffic flow would continue throughout the night until the objective is achieved.
He called for the co-operation of all citizens with the officials of the agencies to restore the situation to normalcy.
He also urged motorists to continue to adhere to the safety standard and the State Traffic Laws so as to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.