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Sunday, December 6, 2015
Fuel Tanker Falls On Lagos Bridge, Ignites Fire
A tanker loaded with fuel and belonging to Oando Oil Company fell off its truck in the early hours of today over the Ojuelegba Bridge in a densely populated part of Lagos. The mishap triggered a fire that injured several residents, burnt part of a mosque as well as several cars, our correspondent reported from the scene.
Witnesses said the fuel-loaded tanker fell off its truck as the vehicle was being driven over the bridge that connects both Lagos Island and the city’s mainland via Ikorodu Road. Most of the spilled fuel flowed into a nearby canal that flows down near some buildings. Fire first exploded in a residential flat attached to a mosque at 19 Ajoke Dosunmu Street and known as Beleke Smith Mosque.
Several witnesses told our correspondent that cooking by a resident in the building apparently ignited the spilled fuel.
The fire raged backward through the canal, causing the tanker to explode and to burn several vehicles parked under the bridge. Some residents in the apartment attached to the mosque were reportedly injured and had been taken to a hospital. Another man reported to have been urinating at the time of the explosion was also seriously injured, witnesses said. He too was taken to a hospital.
A Toyota Solara car parked close to the fence of the affected building was completely burnt along with a merchandise shop and a lotto center called Baba Ijebu.
A firefighter from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) told our correspondent at the scene that they were preparing a place at the Idimu Relief Camp to temporarily accommodate occupants of the affected house after their treatment.
Several weeks ago, another fuel tanker caused a major accident at the same spot. At the scene today, our correspondent asked the recently appointed Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties, Seye Olasejo, what the State planned to do to avoid any recurrence of fuel tanker accidents at the bridge. Mr. Olasejo said the State would come out with new rules for the movement of trucks, adding that engineers would be asked to identify and implement possible structural modifications to the road.
Some business owners and residents of the area told our reporter that the strength of the bridge’s structural integrity had been compromised owing to the frequency of accidents and fires occurring on it.