UPDATED: Tanker Explosion: 21 Cars, 44 Shops, 5 Houses, Others Burnt In LagosFeatured, Latest News, News From The State Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
By Ayo Balogun – No fewer than 21 cars, 6 tricycles, 44 shops, five houses and other valuables have been destroyed at Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos, Nigeria as a fuel tanker fell from a bridge and exploded
The tragedy occurred around 1:30am on Tuesday when the tanker, with registration number, Lagos KJA 238 XN, fell off the Iyana Ipaja bridge and exploded immediately with several cars burnt. The tanker was conveying 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
There was pandemonium as people scampered in different direction to safety, but there was no loss of lives.
An eye witness, Samson Adebanjo told African Examiner that they were sleeping when the explosion occurred, saying that he saw people jumping through the fence of their houses to escape being caught in the fire.
“We were sleeping when it happened. Everybody rushed out when they heard explosion. We could not escape through the main door, so we had to scale the fence with our children to escape. We want government to compensate us,” he explained.
Officials of the Fire Service, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Civil Defence and the police were on ground to fight the fire.
Head of Operation, LASEMA said his men arrived the scene on time to battle the fire, but said five houses were burnt in the process, saying that 14 people who were injured had been treated and allowed to go back home.
There was traffic gridlock on the Iyana Ipaja bridge as the police condoned off the bridge during the period the burnt tanker was about to be evacuated from the scene. Thousands of onlookers were at the scene and gave the police tough time to disperse.
Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe said the tanker fell from the bridge around 1:30am and exploded, as the fire servicemen arrived the scene on time to battle the fire which was eventually put out in the morning.
Fadipe revealed that 21 cars, six tricycles, 44 shops and three houses were consumed by the inferno which engulfed five streets in the area. The streets are Adebanjo, Oki, Oremeji, Jafojo and Lagos-Abeokuta Road.
He said the agency was able to mobilise three fire stations-Alausa, Ikeja and Agege which mobilised five fire trucks conveying cumulative 50,000 litres of water to battle the fire and succeeded in putting it out.
Fadipe said his men responded promptly and that “because of our effectively and vibrancy, that was why no life was lost in the incident. The advice I want to give is that tankers drivers that want to drive at night must rest during the day so that there would not be fatigue to handle the trucks at night.
He said there was another tanker accident in Badagry where the tanker and a tipper were dragging road.
“The tanker that fell in Badagry, close to Toll Gate at Magbon bus stop, the driver was contesting road with a tipper. Imagine a driver conveying combustible product contesting road. We urge the drivers to be very careful, it is important they adhere to this strictly to this.
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode was at the scene of the fire disaster to sympathised with the victims, saying that the government would alleviate their plight.
The governor lamented the lawless activities of tanker drivers, saying that government would soon take decisive action to address the issue.
Ambode said thanked God that no life was lost but sympathised with the victisms who lost properties.
“As at the last count, the agencies have been able to report that everything has been put under control. We’ve also recorded two other incidences, just like this one in other parts of Lagos overnight; one in Badagry and the other one in Ojo area.
“It would also mean that our tanker drivers have to start to do something about their operations. We cannot continue to record loss of lives and properties because our tanker drivers are not disciplined.
“While we are trying to address all that, we would ensure that all those who have lost properties and their shops are quickly helped to them get back to their normal business lives. I will receive the report of the fire incident in the next 48 hours and we will ensure we do something positively to ensure that live can return to normal,” he said.
Kayode Aderanti, Lagos Commissioner of Police said no life was lost, saying that the role of the police is to ensure that “we investigate the remote and immediate cause of this accident and bring to book whoever is responsible for this dastard act.”
However, Alhaja Munirat Usaini, who sells Islamic wares at the scene of the tragedy said she lost about N8 million worth of goods, while other traders have begun to count their loses.
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