8th December, 2010
Mr. Emmanuel Okenyi, the Financial Correspondent of the Nigerian Observer in LagosÂ State , South West Nigeria and his brother, Tony, were among the casualties of lastÂ weekâ€™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 FestacÂ town in the early hours of 2 December, 2010 with his junior brother, Tony, headingÂ to Benin, the Edo State capital where he worked with the Nigerian ObserverÂ newspaper.
Little did he and his brother knew that they have embarked on a journey of noÂ return.
According to Mr. Raheem Ibrahim, Lagos State Correspondent, Observer, Emman and hisÂ brother boarded a commercial bus going to Mile 2 Bus Stop where they intended toÂ enter another bus that would take them to Benin, â€œbut the journey was cut short by aÂ tanker driver who was over speeding.â€
â€œWe were made to understand that at about 5.45 a.m. that day, a tanker withÂ registration number XZ 777 JJJ, loaded with premium motor spirit was involved in anÂ accident near Fin-Niger Bus-Stop. The driver reportedly ran into a ditch underÂ circumstances yet to be ascertained. The contents spilled on the road and itÂ eventually went up in flames.
â€œThe tanker and seven other vehicles were burnt, while Emman, Tony, other passengersÂ in vehicles and a man with his pregnant woman and two kids were burnt beyondÂ recognition. Eight others sustained various degrees of burns,â€ said Ibrahim.
It was gathered that a car which had overtaken the tanker suddenly moved in front ofÂ the long vehicle and the tanker driver whose break was not functioning wellÂ attempted to maneuver to avoid ramming into the car. In the process, he lost controlÂ and the tanker fell on its side and spilled its content on the road. It later caughtÂ fire.
The commuter bus boarded by Emman and his brother was caught in the accident and itÂ caught fire.
â€œIf the driver of the tanker had not been on speed, he could have easily applied theÂ break and stop the trunk without causing any havoc.
â€œIt is high time that government should follow the Republic of Benin law that allÂ tankers must only at night and the vehicles must be in order so as to save ourÂ people,â€ Ibrahim said.