Tragedy occurred in the Otedola Bridge, Berger axis of Lagos State on Saturday following a tanker explosion.
Confirming the development, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said the incident occurred around 2.00 am involving a tanker loaded with Premium Motor Spirit and a truck carrying other goods.
The Director-General of LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyitolu, said both trucks were out-bound Lagos for delivery.
“The Agency promptly responded to a fire outbreak after several distress calls were received from the control room at the above-mentioned address at around 0200hrs,” Oke-Osanyitolu said.
“On arrival at the incident scene, it was discovered that a 40fit containerized Truck loaded with fabric had a brake failure while moving inward Berger.
“It then collided with a tanker loaded with 33000 litres of PMS. The impact of the collision resulted in fire outbreak.”
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has sent his condolences to the families of the tanker explosion victims calling for an end to rampant carnage on the roads.
Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser, Ola Awoniyi expressed grief over the gruesome accident in which more than a score of people, including school children, were reported to have lost their lives or property.
“It is sad and totally unacceptable that such tragedy keeps recurring on our roads despite ample road safety regulations and enforcement personnel.
“While we mourn those who have so unfortunately lost their lives and pray for the speedy recovery of those who are injured, the incident underscores the need for constant review of our road safety strategy and mechanism with a view to making them more effective in preventing carnage on our roads.
“Significantly improving road safety in Nigeria is an urgent challenge for the relevant authorities and other stakeholders in our transport sector. We have to bring an end to the rampant carnage on our roads,” Lawan said.
The Senate President also extended his condolences to the government and people of Kogi State over the tragic incident.
The Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Yahaya Bello has expressed shock over the unfortunate fatal tanker explosion which took place in the early hours of Wednesday, around the Felele area of the Lokoja metropolis.
Governor Bello in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed expressed sadness over the tragic loss of lives, many vehicles, properties, and other valuables in the petrol tanker fire.
The governor condoled with the family of those affected by the ugly incident.
While describing it as an unfortunate development, the governor said “this is sadly the greatest tragedy the state has witnessed in recent times”.
The Governor also urged the students of Kogi State Polytechnic to remain calm and peaceful, stating that he equally shared in their grieving moment over the death of some of their colleagues in the disaster.
Four persons have been confirmed killed and 34 others injured following a tanker explosion at Kutigi town in Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State.
The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in the state, Joel Dagwa, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Tuesday.
According to him, the explosion happened after a tanker carrying substance suspected to be diesel, collided with a container loaded with bags of maize which was also carrying about 200 people, as well as another trailer loaded with bags of maize and other farm produce.
Dagwa also stated that a story-building and several other shops by the roadside were gutted by the fire.
He, however, noted that all those who sustained injuries are now receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Kutigi.
“The trucks were from the North heading towards Lagos, while the tanker was from Lagos heading towards the North,” he said.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Thursday announced the closure of the Sagamu Interchange Bridge in the south-western part of the country.
A statement signed by the Public Education Officer of the (FRSC) Ogun State Sector Command, Florence Okpe, explained that the decision was a result of the twin tanker explosion that occurred under the bridge on Christmas Day.
Florence, a Route Commander, disclosed that experts from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing were invited to examine the bridge after the incident.
She noted that it was advised that the bridge be closed temporarily to avoid any preventable tragedy, as it was declared unfit without repair.
“Due to the damages done by the two petroleum tankers that crashed underneath the Sagamu Interchange Bridge in Sagamu, Ogun State, on Wednesday 25 December 2019, the FRSC invited Engineers of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to assess the continuous usage of the Bridge due to the intensity of the fire outbreak that damaged sections of the Bridge
“Based on their professional advice that the fire has destroyed the integrity of the bridge and may not be safe for motorisation till reinforced, the FRSC Ogun State Command is notifying members of the public to avoid the use of the bridge till it is reinforced,” the statement said.
Two tankers conveying petroleum products were said to have crashed into each other on the outward section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Both vehicles, thereafter, went up in flames due to the impact of the crash but no casualty was recorded.
In his reaction, the Sector Commander in Ogun, Clement Oladele, urged motorists to cooperate with the FRSC and the security agencies that would enforce the temporary closure of the bridge.
He, however, stressed that the enforcement exercise would only last until the bridge was repaired and reopened to motorists for use.
Oladele advised travellers approaching the Sagamu Interchange Bridge from the East via Ijebu-Ode to detour right at the back of the FRSC Emergency Roadside Clinic at Sagamu to connect the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway leading to Ogere.
“They can then make a U-turn before Ogere town and continue their journey to Lagos
“Vehicles coming from Abeokuta leading to the Eastern part of Nigeria via Ijebu Ode should avoid the Sagamu Interchange Bridge and turn right immediately after Nestle Company PLC to proceed to the Expressway leading to Lagos and they can then make a U-turn after Kara-Sagamu after the Julius Berger Yard, Sagamu to reconnect the Sagamu-Ijebu-Ode-Ore-Benin Expressway,” the statement added.
Three people were killed on Monday morning following a petrol tanker explosion in the Felele area, Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
An eyewitness told Channels Television that the accident occurred after the brake of the trailer failed and the driver lost control. The tanker then rammed into a motorcycle resulting in multiple accidents and eventual explosion of the fuel-laden tanker.
He gave a new death toll of 71, along with 59 injured.
White coffins were lowered into graves by members of the security forces, after which Islamic or Christian clerics said brief prayers and tossed handfuls of earth on them.
A Pentecostal pastor named Mechak said in a service broadcast on television that “this should serve as a lesson to us. When there is an accident like this we should steer clear and let rescue workers do their job.”
DNA tests will be carried out on bodies that were burnt beyond recognition, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Jenista Mhagama said, adding that families could take the remains of their loved ones and organise their own burials if they preferred.
A woman who had accompanied her neighbour to retrieve the body of a victim at the hospital said: “When I saw the injured my whole body trembled. They had been burnt like pieces of meat.”
‘No one wanted to listen’
Witnesses said the truck tipped over as it tried to avoid a motorcycle, and locals quickly converged on the scene to collect fuel.
The explosion was triggered when a man tried to retrieve the truck’s battery, creating sparks that ignited the fuel, according to the region’s governor.
Footage from the scene showed the truck engulfed in smoke and flames, with charred bodies and the burnt-out remains of motorcycle taxis scattered on the ground among scorched trees.
A video posted on social media taken before the explosion showed dozens of people carrying yellow jerricans around the truck.
“We arrived at the scene with two neighbours just after the truck was overturned. While some good Samaritans were trying to get the driver and the other two people out of the truck, others were jostling each other, equipped with jerricans, to collect petrol,” teacher January Michael told AFP.
“At the same time, someone was trying to pull the battery out of the vehicle. We warned that the truck could explode at any moment but no one wanted to listen, so we went on our way, but we had barely turned on our heels when we heard the explosion.”
‘May God heal you’
President Magufuli on Sunday visited some of those injured in the blast at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.
“May God heal you,” he said to the 43 patients, some in very serious condition.
Majaliwa said Sunday that a special commission would investigate whether mismanagement had contributed to the disaster.
“While our now-dead compatriots were gathering to syphon fuel, did anyone try to stop them?” Majaliwa asked.
Magufuli has called for people to stop stealing fuel in such a way, a common event across Africa, saying he was “very shocked” by the dangerous practice.
Last month, 45 people were killed and more than 100 injured in central Nigeria when a petrol tanker crashed and then exploded as people tried to take the fuel.
In May, a similar incident occurred in Niger near the airport of the capital Niamey, leaving almost 80 people dead.
Among the deadliest such disasters, 292 people lost their lives in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2010, and in September 2015 at least 203 people died the South Sudan town of Maridi.