No fewer than twelve people died last night when a petrol tanker conveying 33,000 litres of premium motor spirit, PMS, somersaulted and exploded around Berger Suya, Apapa, Lagos, southwest Nigeria. Also burnt were a bank, three houses and 10 vehicles.
The incident occurred around 11.00 p.m. on Tuesday, while the fire was put out at about 1.04 a.m. Wednesday, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY gathered.
Witnesses said the petrol tanker’s brake failed and the truck somersaulted, exploded and burst into flames immediately burning the victims and properties worth billions of naira.
The fire was put out by a combined team of federal and state fire service men. The fire was said to have spread to the bank near the scene of the incident and three other houses, razing them to ashes.
General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed that the victims were burnt beyond recognition, saying that the petrol tanker was fully loaded and that it somersaulted and exploded along Apapa Expressway.
“LASEMA and the fire services took control of the incident scene. We are still at the scene enumerating and assessment is still on for a comprehensive detail,” he said at press time.
Spokesperson, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, also confirmed the incident.
“It (the explosion) involved a petrol tanker which later spread to four houses and four commercial buses were all burnt. The disaster occurred at Cement bus stop, along Mile 2-Apapa Expressway. The petrol tanker laden with 33,000 litres of PMS somersaulted and caught fire, claiming lives and destroying vehicles and buildings,” he said.
A rescue official at the site, who craved anonymity, said 10 vehicles were burnt, including five trucks, four buses, one car and two bikes, adding that the tanker was burnt beyond recognition.
Officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, LASEMA, police officers and a large number of onlookers were at the scene of the incident at press time.
The Director of Fire Service, Lagos State, Mr Rasak Fadipe, also confirmed the incident., adding that three commuter buses suspected to be loaded with passengers were burnt, while 28 spare parts shops and goods inside were destroyed.
He commended the response of other security agencies who arrived the scene early and there was coordinated operation that brought the situation under control.
Chief Public Relations Officer of the Tin Can Island Port, Mr. Kingsley Ukabiala, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that the fire did not affect port operation