Two Fuel Tankers Fall, Truck Crashes In Lagos

 

A tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) fell and spilled its contents at the Airport Road axis in Oshodi, Lagos State.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) confirmed this in a statement on Saturday by its Public Affairs Officer, Nosa Okunbor.

It added that no loss of life or injury was recorded at the incident scene while heavy-duty equipment have already been deployed for a quick recovery to prevent secondary incidents.

“Part of the deployment is an empty tanker and pumping machine for trans-loading with super metro in waiting for recovery of the vehicle after trans-loading is completed,” the agency said.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Affirms Sanwo-Olu’s Election, Fines Appellants N2.4m

It noted that its officials and the Lagos State Fire Service officers were involved in blanketing of the entire area while the police and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) provided security, crowd and traffic control.

Meanwhile, LASEMA said it recovered another fallen oil tanker along the Old Abeokuta Motor Road in the Agege area of the state.

“The Agege fallen tanker is laden with 33,000 litter of Automatic Gas Oil, AGO, (Diesel) which fell off its truck head sideways while driving along the Nigeria Postal Service Agege.

“The impact of the fallen tanker resulted in the spillage of its contents with the resultant blanketing at incident scene ongoing while the trans-loading process is also ongoing,” it said.

The agency explained that the trans-loading commenced after carefully identifying the risks involved in order to ensure there was no loss of lives and valuables in the ongoing operation.

The entire incident area was, however, cordoned off to ensure safety and adequate operational space in compliance with international best practices.

Elsewhere, a related incident occurred involving a truck conveying a 40-feet fully loaded container at Alapere inwards Ketu.

The truck with an unknown registration number was said to have lost control on motion as a result of mechanical failure.

It, thereafter, crossed the other lane due to momentum which made it attempt crossing to the other side of the road and got stuck on the culvert, resulting in the obstruction of free vehicular movement.

“However, no loss of life or injury sustained at the scene of the incident where LASEMA and LASTMA are responders with the early arrival of deployed heavy-duty equipment for a quick recovery to prevent secondary incidents in the ongoing recovery operation,” it said.

UK Tragedy: Driver Remanded In Prison Over 39 Dead Migrants

Police officers drive away a lorry, with black plastic visible at the rear, in which 39 dead bodies were discovered sparking a murder investigation at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, east of London, on October 23, 2019.

 

A UK court on Monday remanded in custody a truck driver over the deaths of 39 Asian migrants he had been smuggling, in a case that has horrified Britain and sparked a search for their country of origin.

Maurice Robinson, a 25-year-old from Northern Ireland known as Mo, was charged Saturday with 39 counts of manslaughter, money laundering and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

As bereaved families in Vietnam prayed for their missing sons and daughters, some of whose identies emerged online, Robinson made no statement in a brief video appearance at a court in Chelmsford, northeast of London.

He has been scheduled to enter a plea at London’s Old Bailey court on November 25.

The eight women and 31 men found Wednesday in a refrigerated container in Essex, southeast England, were originally identified as Chinese.

But several Vietnamese families have come forward since, saying they feared their relatives were among the dead, and UK authorities have walked back their original statement.

 Mourning in Vietnam 

The grim case has again cast light on the extreme dangers facing illegal migrants seeking better lives in Europe, and reopened debates across Britain about ways to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

Britain is now conducting its largest murder investigation since the July 7, 2005 London suicide bombings that killed 52 people.

Officials started collecting DNA samples from families in Nghe An and Ha Tinh, impoverished provinces in central Vietnam where most of the suspected victims came from.

On Monday, Vietnam said Britain had sent documents to help with the complicated task of identifying the bodies, many of whom were believed to be carrying falsified passports.

“The UK side has sent four sets of dossiers related to the Essex lorry deaths… for verification coordination,” Vietnam’s Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry is gathering information on the suspected victims, the report said, after hair and blood samples were collected from several families.

UK authorities arrested another man wanted in the case on Saturday in Dublin, while three others detained earlier have been released on bail.

The man arrested Saturday is also believed to be in his 20s and from Northern Ireland, although no details about his identity have been released.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who campaigned for stronger borders while pushing Britain to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, signed a book of condolence Monday and laid flowers in Grays, east of London, where the truck was found.

Interior minister Priti Patel was also due to answer questions about the case in parliament.

The tragedy has plunged communities in central Vietnam into mourning as families desperately wait for news from their missing relatives.

Vietnamese media reported that as many as 24 of the victims could be Vietnamese although officials have not confirmed the number.

Central Vietnam has long been a source of illegal migration to Britain for people seeking better lives.

Vietnamese migrants often work illegally in nail bars or cannabis farms, heavily indebted and vulnerable to exploitation.

AFP

Man Charged Over Deaths Of 39 People In UK Lorry

Police officers drive away a lorry, with black plastic visible at the rear, in which 39 dead bodies were discovered sparking a murder investigation at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, east of London, on October 23, 2019.

 

British police said Saturday they had charged a man arrested after a refrigerated truck was found earlier this week with 39 bodies inside with manslaughter and people trafficking.

Maurice Robinson, 25, from Northern Ireland, faces “39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering”, police said.

Robinson was arrested shortly after the bodies were discovered in the truck at Purfleet on the River Thames estuary, after arriving on a ferry from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge early on Wednesday.

He will appear in court on Monday, Essex police said.

Three other people have been arrested in Britain in connection with the investigation, on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and manslaughter. They remain in custody.

They include a 38-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman from Warrington in northwest England, reportedly a couple. She is said to be the legal owner of the truck.

A 48-year-old man from Northern Ireland is also being held.

On Saturday, Irish police announced another arrest at Dublin port, of a man in his early 20s from Northern Ireland.

AFP

UK Truck Tragedy: 20 Vietnamese Feared Dead

 

As many as 20 Vietnamese citizens are feared among 39 people found dead in a truck in Britain this week, families and community organisers said Saturday, as one of the alleged truck owners denied involvement in the tragedy.

British police initially said all of the 31 men and eight women found early Wednesday in a refrigerated lorry in an industrial park in Grays, east of London, were believed to be Chinese nationals.

Four people have been held over the incident, which has shocked Britain and shed light on dangerous trafficking routes into Europe taken by undocumented migrants.

Several Vietnamese families now fear their relatives, who may have been carrying falsified Chinese passports, are among the victims.

Britain-based community group VietHome said it had received “photos of nearly 20 people reported missing, age 15-45” from Vietnam, a popular source for smuggled migrants looking to better their lives in the UK.

Nguyen Dinh Gia told AFP Saturday he got a call from his son two weeks ago saying he was planning to go to Britain where he hoped to work in a nail salon.

His 20-year-old son Nguyen Dinh Luong had been living in France and said the journey would cost 11,000 pounds ($14,000).

But Gia received a call several days ago from a Vietnamese man saying “Please have some sympathy, something unexpected happened,” he recounted to AFP.

“I fell to the ground when I heard that,” Gia said. “It seemed that he was in the truck with the accident, all of them dead,” he added.

A 26-year-old Vietnamese woman Pham Thi Tra My is also believed to be among the victims after her family received a text message from her hours before the migrants were discovered.

“I’m sorry Mom. My path to abroad doesn’t succeed. Mom, I love you so much! I’m dying because I can’t breathe,” she said in the message confirmed by her brother Pham Manh Cuong.

He received another message from her a few hours later saying: “Please try to work hard to pay the debt for mummy, my dear,” according to a text sent at 4:28 am Vietnam time on Wednesday (2128 Tuesday GMT) seen by AFP.

The family, who live in a bare home with a corrugated tin roof in central Vietnam, have asked Vietnamese officials to help find the missing woman.

 Pushed by poverty 

The truck carrying the migrants arrived in Purfleet on the River Thames estuary on a ferry from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge just over an hour before ambulance crews called the police at 1:40 am.

The driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, was arrested at the scene.

A married couple were held in Warrington in northwest England on Friday, including a woman who allegedly once owned the truck that carried the container, according to media reports.

The pair denied any involvement and said the truck had been sold to an Irish company more than a year ago.

“It’s nothing to do with us now,” said one of the accused, Joanna Maher, as quoted by The Times.

A fourth suspect, a 48-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has also been arrested.

Investigators started carrying out autopsies Friday to establish how the victims died before the work begins on trying to identify them.

The police investigation is Britain’s largest murder probe since the 2005 London suicide bombings.

The suspected Vietnamese victims both come from Ha Tinh, an impoverished province in a part of Vietnam where many of the country’s illegal migrants come from.

Many have their sights set on Britain, where they end up working in nail salons or on cannabis farms, hoping for quick riches.

They can pay smugglers up to $40,000 for the dangerous journey across eastern Europe — often via China or Russia — an enormous sum in Vietnam where the annual per capital income is around $2,400, according to the World Bank.

Those who cannot pay upfront often have to work off their debt to traffickers, which may include a fee for falsified documents.

The Vietnamese embassy in London is working to “accelerate the process of confirming the victims’ identities”, according to a statement from the foreign ministry in Hanoi.

AFP

11 Injured In Germany As Train Hits Trailer Truck

Eleven people were slightly injured on Monday when a commuter train crashed into a trailer truck in southern Germany, firefighters said.

The first emergency calls were placed at 7:47 am (0547 GMT) over the collision at a railway crossing in Sipplingen, a village by Lake Constance.

Rail traffic on the track has been halted, with the front of the train badly damaged.

Firefighters said they are now working to evacuate passengers from the train to the nearest train station, where doctors were on hand to deal.

They added that the injury toll could still change.

AFP