More than 20 people were burnt to death this morning in their vehicles around Alakija area of Mile 2, Lagos when an oil tanker fell and spewed its content on the ever-busy Lagos-Badagry expressway.
This tragedy is coming on the heels of another tragic accident which occurred yesterday along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway (near M.K.O. Abiola Gardens) when more than 10 people were burnt to death when the inter state commuter bus they were travelling in lost control and crashed against the railings.
Today’s tragic incident occurred around 6.15 a.m. when the tanker lost control and fell down, spilling its contents on the road.
Four vehicles, including two commuter buses carrying more than 24 commuters and two private cars, were burnt. No fewer than than 20 people lost their lives while others suffered serious injuries. Others who attempted to escape fell into a canal and died.
P.M.NEWS gathered at the scene of the accident that when the tanker fell and spewed its content on the road, fire did not result immediately, but fire started after the petrol content got in touch with a burning refuse dump nearby.
The incident led to a stampede and people were seen running away from the spot to escape being caught in the fire. The incident caused traffic gridlock along the Mile 2 and Iba Roads for more the four hours.
It took the intervention of firemen from FESTAC fire station to put the inferno under control.
Narrating the incident, the Area Commander of LASTMA, Mr. Taiwo Abayomi, told P.M.NEWS that when he and his men got to the scene, many lives had been lost and several people injured.
He added that it took the combined effort of the police, LASTMA, civil defence corps and FRSC to put the situation under control.
Meanwhile, relations of victims burnt in a commercial bus accident along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway this morning besieged the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to identify their loved ones. The relations were seen milling around the emergency ward and the mortuary to see the victims.
Some of the badly injured passengers were also seen at the emergency ward of the hospital being attended to by doctors and nurses.
P.M.NEWS gathered that at about 7.30 p.m. yesterday, a commuter bus with registration number, XW 812 APP, was involved in a fatal accident besides Mobil Filling Station, near the old toll gate, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and about ten of its passengers burnt to death.
The vehicle, it was gathered, was coming from Mile 2 and heading to Ijebu-Ode when the accident occurred.
Police sources at Isheri police station told P.M.NEWS that the accident occurred when the commuter bus which was speeding somersaulted and caught fire.
As at the time of filing this report, relatives of the victims were seen at LASUTH mortuary, Ikeja, trying to identify the victims.
Some victims of the petrol tanker fire along the Lagos-Badagry expressway were also brought to the hospital this morning. There was crying and wailing as relations and sympathisers could not control themselves at the gory sight.
Two of the victims were burnt beyond recognition and were dumped at the entrance of the mortuary.
However, a mild drama occurred between the police rescue team and some doctors of LASUTH. While the doctors were attending to one of the victims in the police van with registration number SE 497 LSR, some policemen lost their patience and told the doctors to move the victim to the ward, so they can continue with their daily activities.
But the doctors said there was no more space in the emergency ward, and that besides, the section where such victim can be admitted is currently undergoing renovations.
—Bayo Adetu / Cyriacus Izuekwe/ Dedeigbo Ayodeji