How Observer Journalist, Brother Died In Tanker Fire


Mr. Emmanuel Okenyi, the Financial Correspondent of the Nigerian Observer in Lagos  State , South West Nigeria and his brother, Tony, were among the casualties of last  week’s tanker fire at Alakija area of Mile 2, Lagos, P.M.NEWS has learnt.

Emman, 41, as fondly called by friends, left his wife, Rachel and a child at Festac  town in the early hours of 2 December, 2010 with his junior brother, Tony, heading  to Benin, the Edo State capital where he worked with the Nigerian Observer  newspaper.

Little did he and his brother knew that they have embarked on a journey of no  return.

According to Mr. Raheem Ibrahim, Lagos State Correspondent, Observer, Emman and his  brother boarded a commercial bus going to Mile 2 Bus Stop where they intended to  enter another bus that would take them to Benin, “but the journey was cut short by a  tanker driver who was over speeding.”

“We were made to understand that at about 5.45 a.m. that day, a tanker with  registration number XZ 777 JJJ, loaded with premium motor spirit was involved in an  accident near Fin-Niger Bus-Stop. The driver reportedly ran into a ditch under  circumstances yet to be ascertained. The contents spilled on the road and it  eventually went up in flames.

“The tanker and seven other vehicles were burnt, while Emman, Tony, other passengers  in vehicles and a man with his pregnant woman and two kids were burnt beyond  recognition. Eight others sustained various degrees of burns,” said Ibrahim.

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It was gathered that a car which had overtaken the tanker suddenly moved in front of  the long vehicle and the tanker driver whose break was not functioning well  attempted to maneuver to avoid ramming into the car. In the process, he lost control  and the tanker fell on its side and spilled its content on the road. It later caught  fire.

The commuter bus boarded by Emman and his brother was caught in the accident and it  caught fire.

“If the driver of the tanker had not been on speed, he could have easily applied the  break and stop the trunk without causing any havoc.

“It is high time that government should follow the Republic of Benin law that all  tankers must only at night and the vehicles must be in order so as to save our  people,” Ibrahim said.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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