By Job Osazuwa
Two people were burnt beyond recognition yesterday at Cele bus stop on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos State, as a tanker laden with petroleum product tumbled and exploded immediately.
The victims, according to eye-witnesses, were the driver and his conductor, They were trapped in the vehicle.
Petroleum spilled into the gutter, and extended the fire to about one kilometer from the scene of the accident, causing people to scamper for safety.
A factory worker opposite the scene, Tunde Michael, said the accident occurred as the tanker driver lost control after he was hit by a trailer which was also coming from the Mile two axis.
But, another source said the tanker was torched by a burning trailer that was behind it.
The accident caused traffic gridlock on the expressway, forcing many vehicles to maneuvre through adjoining streets. Many passengers were stranded on the route.
An official of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), who did not want his name published, told Daily Sun that the agency got the distress call around 4.pm.
According to him, the agency quickly mobilsed its men, water tankers, manned by fire servicemen to the scene and were able to prevent the spreading fire from causing more damage.
Another eyewitness, who simply identified himself as Uche, said: “Around 4pm, I heard a loud explosion and saw people running to different directions. It was later I discovered it was a petrol tanker that fell. Two people were burnt to death in the vehicle. The driver of the other trailer that was also burnt quickly ran away when he sensed danger. Nothing happened to him and his conductor.”
Men from National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Red Cross Society of Nigeria, Police Force and other volunteer workers were on ground to ensure there was no breach of law and order.