By Christopher Oji
Tragedy struck in the early hours of yesterday as two people died, three others injured and 12 vehicles got burnt when a petrol tanker exploded while ascending the Ilo-Awela axis in Ota, Ogun State.
Also, shops and other properties worth millions of naira were burnt. The driver of the truck was one of the victims alongside a tricycle rider (Keke Marwa) on whom the tanker fell on. A witness said the truck driver got trapped inside his vehicle and got burnt beyond recognition before any help could come, while the other victims were rescued.
The witness, Saliu Abass, said “the driver of the loaded PMS tanker was coming from Lagos and going to Ota. As he approached the hill at the Ilo-Awela junction, where the incident occurred, the truck developed a mechanical fault, rolled back and fell on a side, spilling its content on the road which resulted in a fire explosion in the process.
“Property lost in the inferno, apart from the fully loaded Mack tanker include, GGE 428 XP commercial yellow Volkswagen LT bus, two TVS tricycles, two Boxer motorcycles, and three commercial luxurious buses.”
TRACE Area Commander, Mr. Ajibade Adekunle, said the inferno has been subsequently put out by the combined efforts of the Ogun State Fire Service, in collaboration with Lagos State Fire Service and LASEMA, with assistance from security agencies, including TRACE and FRSC.
Ajibade said TRACE and all the security and safety agencies have been on ground since the night and are still on standby monitoring the axis till day break for the cooling of the burnt vehicles as well as to remove all the carcass at the scene of the incident. He said the scene of the incident has been condoned off by the security and safety agencies on ground monitoring the axis and redirecting vehicles from Sango Under Bridge to Ota.
Meanwhile, the injured victims have been taken to the state hospital in Ota, and, according to TRACE Area Commander, efforts were still on to bag the bodies by safety agencies on ground, as well as clearing all the affected vehicles from the road and by the road side.
“The inferno has been put out and the accident scene condoned by all the security and safety agencies. Traffic is being redirected so as to ensure no delay of movement on that route or other mishaps on that axis. Further report on the recovery and evacuation of the affected vehicles to be presented as unfold,” Ajibade concluded.
The spokesman of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Southwest Zone, Mr. Ibrahim Familoye, said: “Two persons were burnt beyond recognition, three sustained various degrees of burns, three BRT vehicles, three Okada, three tricycles, and one LT bus were burnt.”