It was black Thursday in Lagos as a 33,000-litre tanker loaded with fuel exploded on Otedola Bridge along Lagos/Ibadan expressway, killing many people and razing at least 67 vehicles.
As at time of writing this report, 10 bodies that were burnt beyond recognition had been recovered while 67 cars also affected by the resultant fire were counted.
It was gathered that tragedy occurred at about 6.05 pm after the fuel laden tanker which was heading inwards Berger, suddenly had a break failure.
In a bid for the driver to control it, he reportedly rammed the vehicle into one of the vehicles and it exploded.
An eye witness, Maria Oje, who escaped being trapped among the affected vehicles, described her narrow escape as the handiwork of God. She narrated in tears how she saw some motorists who were affected, tried to run to a safe place where the fire on them would be put out.
‘’One of them who was on fire fell down, as he could not run any longer. Nobody could rescue them as everyone was also running for his dear life,” Oje said.
Motorists, who managed to escape the blast, abandoned their vehicles and fled in different directions for safety.
Some family members were said to be looking for their members, when they got to safer places. Among them was a woman who was sighted crying as she called out to one of her twin girls.
As at time of writing this report, thick smoke was still billowing at the scene, with rescue operators battling to contain the situation.
Those present at the scene included the Police, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Lagos State Fire Service, the state’s Ambulance Service, Lagos State Traffic management Authority, among others.
Vehicles were stopped at both sides of the road, as rescue operation went on with the operation. This caused a hitch in the free flow of traffic, which stretched to the Third Mainland Bridge as at 6.45 p.m.
Effort to reach the spokes persons of LASEMA and FIRE Service proved abortive as their phones rang severally without response.
But the Lagos State Police spokesman, Chike Oti, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, who picked his, confirmed the incident.
He said “67 cars were affected and 10 charred remains of victims were recovered. The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command commiserates with families of the affected persons and sends his heart felt condolence to them.
Meantime, he has warned all tanker drivers to put security measures in place to check future incident.”