2nd June, 2012
Mrs Florence Ajimobi, the wife of Oyo State governor and thousands of travellers were on Saturday, stranded for hours on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway due to an accident caused by a fallen petrol tanker.
The gridlock, which followed the incident, spread more than 20 kilometres.
The accident occurred barely 24 hours after two persons died and five were injured in a similar accident which involved 10 vehicles at the same junction in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who visited the scene, expressed concern about the development and urged all stakeholders to be proactive in preventing recurrence.
He commended the Ogun Fire Service and the officials of the state Traffic Compliance Corps (TRACE) for their efforts at preventing loss of lives.
“This happened again about 2 a.m.; just about the same time the other one happened, and something must be done very urgent to avoid all these avoidable carnage on this road.’’ he said.
Speaking with newsmen, Mr Demola Lawal, the FRSC Zonal Commander in charge of Ogun and Lagos, said that the accident occurred at about 2:18 a.m.
“We were trying to evacuate the last burnt vehicles in an accident that happened about two days ago, an articulated vehicle punctured a fuel tanker and there was outflow of the product.
“It spread all over the highway and all of a sudden there was an explosion and everybody ran.
“We immediately notified those on queue that petrol was all over the highway so that people could vacate their cars to escape.
“That really assisted in not recording any casualty, officials of the Fire Service from Ogun were also on ground to put the fire under control.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ikemefuna Okoye, who visited the scene, said that police got information that a fuel tanker fell on the road.
“The FRSC, TRACE, Police are here to ensure there is free flow of traffic and the fire service are equally here to put out the fire.’’
One of the trapped commuters, Pastor Peter Adake, told NAN that he left the Redeemed Camp at about 5.a.m. and was unable to get out of the gridlock as at the time of filing this report.
He called on the government to provide security on the highways.
According to NAN, thousands of worshippers who were returning from the monthly service in the Redeemed Camp were also trapped.
The multiple crash involved 24 vehicles.
FRSC Deputy Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the accident occurred on Friday night when a trailer loaded with petrol fell and caught fire near the Sagamu interchange.
He said although no lives were lost, two persons sustained injuries while 176 people travelling in the affected vehicles had been evacuated.
The accident involved motor cars, mini and luxury buses, tankers as well as trailers, he said.
He appealed to motorists to use alternative routes to and from Lagos to avoid the gridlock, while fire-fighters, police and FRSC officers are battling to ease the traffic.