Many people were injured and 10 trucks razed to ashes as a Fuel tanker exploded yesterday at the Mile two axis of Oshodi/Apapa expressway.
Also goods worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
A witness, John Saliu, said the casualty figure would have been enourmous and more devastating if the explosion had happened in the day time .
According to Saliu , a Tanker driver:” The incident occurred at about 1am, after a truck loaded with petroleum product was driving outward Apapa. On reaching Fagbems bus-stop, Mile Two, the tanker fell down on a bad potion of the road. The explosion ignited fire which spread to other trucks. Three of the trucks were completely razed. One of them also loaded with petroleum product, had only its head burnt , while two trucks loaded with goods and beverages which were heading for Kaduna and one of the eastern states, were also affected.
“The fire spread to other trucks parked on the other side of the expressway, inward Apapa. Some of those injured were drivers who were sleeping in their trucks, awaiting their turn to go into the port to load.
” We should thank God that the explosion happened at night , if it was in the day time, it would have been more devastating. The curfew imposed by the State government also saved the situation, because many drivers and their conductors did not come to work. Majority of the injured persons are tanker drivers and conductors sleeping in their vehicles. I blame the incident on the insensitivity of government , to the plight of the masses who risk their lives daily on that route.The failed section had been left unrepaired for several months. There had been cases of trucks falling at the failed portion before now.
“We made calls to the fire service stations but they came around 3am. It was some fire men from LACASERA Company that helped put out the fire. If they were not there , it would have been more catastrophe. Those that were injured were rushed to the hospital”.
Rescue operators such as the Police, Federal and Lagos State Fire Services, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEM and agency responders were still at the scene at about 1 pm, trying to clear the wreckage to allow motorists that were trapped for hours, passage.
Director-General /Chief Executive Officer LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osayintolu, explained that ,“ the agency received distress calls concerning the fire which occurred around 1am and activated its emergency response plan.
“On arrival, it was discovered that a fuel tanker loaded with PMS had overturned and burst into flames due to the oil spillage. This in turn affected some stationary trailers parked inwards Apapa. Operation to remove the affected vehicles is ongoing while road users are encouraged to use alternative routes”.