No fewer than 13 persons were confirmed dead as a petrol tanker fell down and caught fire Loto bus-stop, Mowe along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
Four other persons including an official of the Ogun State Fire Service, sustained varying degrees of injuries from the tragedy.
Punch reports that the fuel tanker belonging to Total Nigeria Plc fell on the expressway around 3 PM on Monday, April 2, 2016, while trying to avoid a herd of cows controlled by some Fulani herdsmen.
Policemen attached to the Redemption Camp Division evacuated four of the cows which were killed during the encounter and contacted the management of Total and requested that they should send another tanker to transfer the fuel from the fallen one.
The Fulani herdsmen were said to have immediately fled the scene to escape the wrath of an angry mob who were ready to lynch them.
When the new tanker arrived at 11 PM, officials of the Ogun State Fire Service helped to transfer the fuel successfully from the old tanker.
The new tanker left the accident scene, and residents resorted to scooping the spilled fuel from the gutter.
Luck ran out of some of them around 1pm of the fateful day when a Sports Utility Vehicle, with a busted tyre drove past and ignited a fire which killed passengers of other vehicles razed in the inferno.
Among the affected vehicles were the SUV, an 18-seater bus, two Hilux vans, a Dangote truck and a fire service truck.
Narrating the incident, an eye witness at the accident scene who identified herself only as Sunmibare, said: “One of the fire service men was injured. The fire razed their truck and a Dangote truck beside it. There was no hope of putting out the fire since the fire service men had become helpless. The fire raged till about 7am.”
The Fire Service officials were said to be making efforts to neutralise the power of the petrol when the fire began.
The injured persons were taken to the Olabisi Onabanjo Teaching Hospital in Ogun State for treatment.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident.
He said: “The road was soaked with fuel after the tanker fell. The police and the fire service men were trying to neutralise the power of the petrol when fire broke out.”
“The fire service truck, which was on duty, was the first to be burnt.”
“No fewer than 13 people were burnt beyond recognition. About five vehicles were also burnt. We urge those whose relatives are missing to come forward for possible identification because for now we cannot recognise anybody.”
Below are some photos from the accident scene. (Click on any image to enlarge).