Nine persons have been confirmed dead after a truck loaded with fuel crashed and exploded on Thursday, at the Otedola Bridge along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos.
Rescue officials were at the scene to secure commuters stuck in the area.
The truck was conveying 33,000 litres of fuel.
Commuters were in confusion as they scampered for safety resulting from the explosion.
Similarly, vehicular movements were in disarray as some motorists attempted to avoid the accident scene.
A motorist, Fisayo Olujimi, said “Immediately the petrol tanker fell sideways and exploded, instantly all entrances to different Omole street were closed leaving us stranded to wait for the deadly explosion catching up from one vehicle to another to catch up on our depressed souls.
“I jumped that tall Omole fence into the canal.It was an experience like never, seeing all those people explode, burnt,” he said.
It was gathered the inferno occurred at about 5:20pm.
However, the General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Adeshina Tiamiyu, said firefighters had extinguished the fire. Adding that, some motorists lost their lives trying to escape from the scene of the fire.
His words: “The accident happened around 5.25pm and involved a tanker loaded with petrol.
“The tanker fell and spilled its content, causing fire which burnt 54 vehicles…. Some motorists, who turned to run away, crashed into other vehicles.
“Some jumped out and others fell into the gutter in the course of running away. We found dead bodies on the ground and in the gutter.
“Some of the people who died in the gutter had probably been caught by the fire and jumped into the gutter to put it out.
“Nine dead bodies have been recovered and four were injured. Two were seriously injured, while two sustained minor injuries.
“The injured have been taken to a hospital, while the bodies have been taken by SEHMU to the mainland hospital mortuary. We are currently making efforts to remove the burnt vehicles from the road,” the LASEMA boss said.
Similarly, the Lagos State Sector Commander, FRSC, Hygenus Omege, said 54 vehicles were burnt in the tanker fire.
Omoge said, “It is obvious that the driver lost control of the tanker. We heard the tanker suffered brake failure.
“We have counted 54 burnt vehicles. Four people, who were rescued, are in the emergency unit and about nine bodies have been recovered.”
He said a fuel tanker, two trucks, five commercial buses, 45 cars and one tricycle were gutted by the fire.
Acting Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Musbau, said the combined effort of four fire stations quenched the fire.
“The tanker was attempting to climb the steep road that connects to the expressway when it developed a fault.
“Our men from the Alausa, Ikeja, Ilupeju and Bolade stations responded. But the time we got there, the fuel was already spilling down the road and had caught up with a lot of vehicles.
“We got there four minutes after receiving the alert around 5.25pm,” he said.
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