Another Tragedy In Lagos: 20 Burnt To Death In Tanker Explosion

The wreckage of Chris Abod’s car.

•The wreckage of Chris Abod's car.

More than 20 people were burnt to death this morning in their vehicles around  Alakija area of Mile 2, Lagos when an oil tanker fell and spewed its content on the  ever-busy Lagos-Badagry expressway.

This tragedy is coming on the heels of another tragic accident which occurred  yesterday along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway (near M.K.O. Abiola Gardens) when more  than 10 people were burnt to death when the inter state commutter bus they were  travelling in lost control and crashed against the railings.

Today’s tragic incident occurred around 6.15 a.m. when the tanker lost control and  fell down, spilling its contents on the road.

Four vehicles, including two commuter buses carrying more than 24 commuters and two  private cars, were burnt. No fewer than than 20 people lost their lives while others  suffered serious injuries. Others who attempted to escape fell into a canal and  died.

P.M.NEWS gathered at the scene of the accident that when the tanker fell and spewed  its content on the road, fire did not result immediately, but fire started after the  petrol content got in touch with a burning refuse dump nearby.

The incident led to a stampede and people were seen running away from the spot to  escape being caught in the fire. The incident caused traffic gridlock along the Mile  2 and Iba Roads for more the four hours.

It took the intervention of firemen from FESTAC fire station to put the inferno  under control.

Narrating the incident, the Area Commander of LASTMA, Mr. Taiwo Abayomi, told  P.M.NEWS that when he and his men got to the scene, many lives had been lost and  several people injured.

He added that it took the combined effort of the police, LASTMA, civil defence corps  and FRSC to put the situation under control.

Meanwhile, relations of victims burnt in a commercial bus accident along the  Lagos-Ibadan expressway this morning besieged the Lagos State University Teaching  Hospital (LASUTH) to identify their loved ones. The relations were seen milling  around the emergency ward and the mortuary to see the victims.

Some of the badly injured passengers were also seen at the emergency ward of the  hospital being attended to by doctors and nurses.

P.M.NEWS gathered that at about 7.30 p.m. yesterday, a commuter bus with  registration number, XW 812 APP, was involved in a fatal accident besides Mobil  Filling Station, near the old toll gate, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and about ten of  its passengers burnt to death.

The vehicle, it was gathered, was coming from Mile 2 and heading to Ijebu-Ode when  the accident occurred.

Police sources at Isheri police station told P.M.NEWS that the accident occurred  when the commuter bus which was speeding somersaulted and caught fire.

As at the time of filing this report, relatives of the victims were seen at LASUTH  mortuary, Ikeja, trying to identify the victims.

Some victims of the petrol tanker fire along the Lagos-Badagry expressway were also  brought to the hospital this morning. There was crying and wailing as relations and  sympathisers could not control themselves at the gory sight.

Two of the victims were burnt beyond recognition and were dumped at the entrance of  the mortuary.

However, a mild drama occurred between the police rescue team and some doctors of  LASUTH. While the doctors were attending to one of the victims in the police van  with registration number SE 497 LSR, some policemen lost their patience and told the  doctors to move the victim to the ward, so they can continue with their daily  activities.

But the doctors said there was no more space in the emergency ward, and that  besides, the section where such victim can be admitted is currently undergoing  renovations.

—Bayo Adetu /    Cyriacus Izuekwe/  Dedeigbo Ayodeji

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