…As 10 charred bodies so far recovered-Police
By Lolo Ayaba
It was black Thursday in Lagos yesterday, as a 33,000 litres tanker loaded with fuel exploded on Otedola bridge along Lagos/Ibadan expressway, killing many people and razing at least 67 vehicles.
As at time of writing this report, 10 bodies that were burnt beyond recognition had been recovered while 67 cars also affected by the resultant fire were counted.
It was gathered that the tragedy occurred at about 6.05 pm after the fuel laden tanker which was heading inwards Lagos, towards Alausa suddenly had a break failure.
In the driver’s bid to control it, it reportedly rammed into one of the vehicles and exploded.
An eye witness, Maria Oje, who escaped being trapped among the affected vehicles, described her narrow escape as the handiwork of God. She narrated in tears how she saw some motorists who were affected, trying to run to a safe place where the fire on them would be put out.
“One of them who was on fire fell down, as he could not run any longer. Nobody could rescue them as everyone was also running for his dear life,” Oje said.
Motorist’s who also managed to escape the blast, abandoned their vehicles as they fled in different directions for safety.
Some family members were said to be looking for their members, after they got to safer places. Among them was a woman who was sighted crying as she called out to one of her twin girls.
As at time of writing this report, thick smoke was still billowing at the scene, with rescue operators battling to contain the situation.
Those present at the scene included the Police, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Lagos State Fire Service, the state’s Ambulance Service, Lagos State Traffic management Authority, among others.
Vehicles were stopped at both sides of the road, as rescue operation went on. This caused a hitch in the free flow of traffic.
Effort to reach the spokespersons of LASEMA and FIRE Service proved abortive as their phones rang severally without response.
But the Lagos State Police spokesman, Chike Oti, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP who picked his call, confirmed the incident.
He said “67 cars were affected and 10 charred remains of victims were recovered. The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command commiserates with families of the affected persons and sends his heart-felt condolence to them.
Meantime, he has warned all tanker drivers to put security measures in place to check future incident.”