No fewer than two (2) persons have been confirmed dead, while 23 vehicles burnt down on Saturday morning when a tanker loaded with 45,000 litre of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, exploded at Kara Bridge, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, outward Berger area.
iBrandTV gathered that the incident led to traffic gridlock in the area as motorists and commuters were stranded on the ever busy road.
In the ensuing melee, other motorists were diverted to other alternative routes to reduce the impact of chaotic traffic build up along the axes. Both interstate and intra state bus services were grounded as a result.
Many people also sustained various injuries in the tragedy.
According to Director General, DG, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintiolu, the incident occurred at 1am, Saturday.
Oke-Osanyintiolu explained that the agency responded to the incident at 0105hrs Saturday morning according to the stipulated emergency response plan.
He said, “The joint team (Lagos Fire and LASEMA) was waylaid on arrival by a group of herders believed to be Fulani boys brandishing dangerous weapons and was forced to seek extra police cover from the Isheri Police Station.
“The operation commenced with the police protection until the group of assailants grew larger and caused significant damage to vehicles and threat to life of our personnel.”
The development led to the team forced to suspend the recovery operation for safety reasons.
“It is of note that this attack is part of a very worrisome trend of first responders being attacked in the course of their duties,” he said
Subsequently, the agency and responders, accompanied by security reinforcements, were able to return to the scene and contain the fire resulting from an explosion which was caused by an overturned petrol tanker containing 45,000 litres of fuel.
Oke-Osanyintiolu released the following post-disaster assessment to include: Two fatalities (driver of tanker and motor boy), 10 casualties who received on the spot treatment. 23 vehicles affected including 1 tanker containing the 45000 litres of petrol,1 luxurious passenger bus two articulated vehicles
At press time, rescue operation was completed and normal traffic flow restored at about 2pm.
Oke-Osanyintiolu, therefore warned residents to refrain from endangering the lives of emergency responders and allow to carry out their lifesaving duties.
Operation had since been completed and normal traffic flow restored at about 2pm.