Posted by By MATTHEW DUKE, AMAKA OKPALA on
Ten persons, including a pregnant woman had their lives cut short, just as nine others were severely burnt in an early morning petrol tanker fire at Orile Iganmu bus stop, Orile - Badagry Expressway in Lagos on Thursday. Six vehicles and valuable property were also razed by the inferno.
Ten persons, including a pregnant woman had their lives cut short, just as nine others were severely burnt in an early morning petrol tanker fire at Orile Iganmu bus stop, Orile - Badagry Expressway in Lagos on Thursday.
Six vehicles and valuable property were also razed by the inferno.
For relatives of the dead and the injured, it was anguish and tears as road safety and emergency rescue officials moved corpses of the deceased to the morgue in body bags, while the injured were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Daily Sun gathered that the unfortunate incident occurred at about 5 a.m when a petrol-laden tanker fell, spilling its content on the highway.
The tanker driver immediately headed for the Orile Police Station to report the accident, while policemen and concerned residents made to cordon off the area to prevent fire outbreak.
Amidst the panic and confusion, another tanker approaching the scene from the Mile 2 end of the expressway was said to have been flagged down but the driver ignored the warning.
Eyewitness accounts had it that fire was ignited followed by an explosion immediately the vehicle driver drew level with the fallen petrol tanker.
A Coaster commercial bus coming behind the tanker, got stuck as its driver made to overtake the tanker. Three of its passengers, including a pregnant woman were trapped and burnt to death.
Besides the tankers and Coaster commercial bus, the fire also consumed two mini buses, a car as well as roadside shops and high-tension electricity line.
Among the deceased was a retired soldier identified as Alhaji Lateef Awesu, aged 70.
His son, Saheed Awesu, said the family got information about his involvement through his mobile phone.
“People used my father's handset to try my number. I don't know where he was going, because we were not living together,” Saheed said.
A woman simply identified as Mama Hamed was seen weeping uncontrollably at the scene. Her husband was said to be among the deceased.
Police Area Commander, Bashir Abdullahi as well as the Orile and Bode Thomas Divisional Police Officers, Mohammed Raji and Olubode Ojajuni respectively led police operation to control a surging crowd of sympathizers who besieged the scene of the fire.
A member of the Lagos State emergency rescue team simply identified as Mr Olaogun confirmed the casualty figure.
“We have recorded 10 dead. Nine persons were severely burnt. The community also had their fault. Some people were scooping fuel. That was why the number was high,” Olaogun said.
Team leader of Nigerian Red Cross, Emmanuel Adomeh said they had evacuated four of the nine injured victims from Winas Medical Centre, Orile to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. “The four persons were seriously burnt,” Adomeh said.
Surulere Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Gregory Drambi, who gave possible cause of the accident, alleged that the driver slept off while in motion.
“The driver was sleeping. That was why he drove the vehicle through the gutter,” Drambi alleged.