Nine persons, including a pregnant woman and her three children, were burnt to death after a fuel-laden tanker exploded on the Otedola Bridge in Lagos, yesterday.
Four other victims with serious burn injuries were also rushed to hospital.
The incident took place at about 5:20pm, in front of Total Filling Station, opposite Otedola Estate.
The tanker was said to be heading towards Berger, outwards Lagos, when the incident occurred.
A witness said the tragedy occurred when the truck had break failure. Attempts made by the tanker driver to control the vehicle failed as it fell and went up in flames immediately, trapping vehicles caught up in the usual evening traffic on the bridge.
Immediately the incident took place, officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) the Lagos Fire Service and Rapid Response Squad mobilised to the scene.
The fire was brought under control about an hour after it started by officials of the Lagos State fire Service.
The Otedola Bridge has been shut indefinitely, while traffic on both sides of the road have been diverted to alternative routes.
The incident caused gridlock which stretched to the Third Mainland Bridge.
Motorists and commuters returning from work on the Island were trapped in the chaotic gridlock caused by the incident, while many opted to trek to their destinations.
Confirming the incident, spokesman of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Bisi Kazeem, confirmed the crash involving the loaded tanker around Otedola Bridge on the outward Lagos section of the expressway, and added that many vehicles caught fire in the process.
Speaking on the incident, LASEMA General Manager, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu said when they got to the scene of the incident after being alerted, it was discovered that a Mack tanker truck loaded with 33 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) fell and spilled its content on the road, which resulted into a huge fire.
“Unfortunately, nine bodies were confirmed dead and recovered from the scene (eight adults and oneminor) and the four persons that sustain various degrees of injuries were taken to the hospital.
“A total of 54 vehicles were completely burnt as a result of the inferno.
“The Agency’s LASEMA Response Team, men of Lagos State Fire Service, LRU fire, LSNC, NSCDC, FRSC, LASAMBUS, LASTMA, SEHMU, LSPWC and Nigeria Police Force from Alausa and Isheri Division were the responders at the scene.”
As at yesterday night, Tiamiyu said there were efforts to remove all the burnt vehicles from the road.