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Petrol Tanker Fire: 44 Shops, 21 Vehicles Torched

An Early Morning Petrol Tanker Accident At Iyana Ipaja Area Of Lagos Leaves Residents With Huge Material Losses

Emmanuel Ukudolo

At least 44 shops, with goods worth millions of naira, were torched at Iyana Ipaja, a suburb of Lagos, when a petrol-laden tanker with registration number KJA 238 XN veered off the Agegelink flyover spilling all 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). The ensuing fire also consumed 22 parked vehicles and five houses in the accident which occurred in the wee hours of yesterday. Eye-witnesses told The UNION that the tanker exploded on landing on the floor and caused colossal damage to the immediate environment. “We were sleeping when we suddenly heard a loud explosion around 1:30 am.

We saw petrol streaming into the gutter and suddenly there was fire.We all ran for our dear lives. Some people jumped through the fence to escape from their houses,” Babatunde Onile, who resides at No.2 Oremeji Street, told reporters. He described the incident as tragic and called on government to assist those affected. “When the incident occurred, area boys entered shops of people to loot their belongings. They made away with generators and flat screen televisions,” he said.

Samson Adebanjo, who lives at No. 11 Dakare Dafojo Street, also narrated his account of the incident. He said: “We were sleeping when it happened. Everybody rushed out when they heard explosion. We could not escape through the main door, so we had to scale the fence with our children to escape. We want government to compensate us,” he added. Director, Lagos Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe told reporters that the tanker fell from the bridge around 1:30am and exploded, saying that his men were at the scene in good time to battle the inferno.

He disclosed that 21 cars, six tricycles, 44 shops and five houses were destroyed in the accident which affected five streets. He listed the affected streets as Adebanjo, Oki, Oremeji, Jafojo and Lagos-Abeokuta Road. Fadipe also praised community members for informing the fire service on time adding that five fire trucks conveying about 50,000 litres of water were mobilised to battle the fire.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who was also at the scene to sympathize with those affected, said he was happy that there was no loss of lives. He however lamented the scale of destruction by the fire. The governor also decried the lawless activities of tanker drivers, which he said would no longer be tolerated. “As at the last count, the agencies have been able to report that everything has been put under control.

We have also recorded two other incidences, just like this one in other parts of Lagos overnight; one in Badagry and the other one in Ojo area. “It would also mean that our tanker drivers have to start to do something about their operations. We cannot continue to record loss of lives and properties because tanker drivers are not disciplined. While we are trying to address all that, we would ensure that all those who have lost properties including shops are assisted to get back to normal business”, he promised.

Also speaking, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Mr. Kayode Aderanti said the police will investigate remote and immediate causes of the incident and bring to book whoever was responsible.

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