6 Jun 2015

34 houses and 70 shops burnt in another petrol tanker accident in Lagos

Another early morning petrol fire has occurred in Lagos, destroying property worth millions of naira at Idimu area, a suburb of the metropolis, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

No fewer than 34 buildings, 70 shops, one tricycle, one truck and other property were consumed by the fire ignited by a fallen petrol-laden tanker.

The disaster occurred in the wee hours of Saturday at Idimu intersection.

NAN also reports that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode had on Tuesday visited Iyana-Ipaja where a tanker laden with petrol caught fire after falling off the bridge, causing extensive damages.

He promised that he would ensure that those who lost property to the fire got back to normal business life.

Mr Femi Giwa, the Head of Operations, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the spilled content of the tanker caused an uncontrollable inferno.

Giwa said preliminary investigations revealed that two tankers en-route from Ikotun to Idimu were involved in an accident with a bus at Idimu, spilling the petrol.
“One of the tankers skidded off the road spilling its content. The petrol spread through the drains to parts of Idimu and its environs on Idimu-Ejigbo Road.

“Five minutes after, we had a fire outbreak which resulted in a colossal loss,” he said.
He said it was too early to determine the actual losses in human and financial terms.

According to Giwa, men of LASEMA, the State Fire Service, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Red Cross, Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps responded on time to manage the situation.

Others institutions which assisted in containing the situation included the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Neighborhood Watch and the Community Development Association.
“We have put out the fire. We are about to commence full recovery. The essence is to make the area safe.

“We have done initial assessment of the losses. This may differ from full enumeration at the end of the exercise,” Giwa said
He said post-disaster assessment would be made public after the emergency agencies had achieved some levels of stability.

The LASEMA official urged employers of tanker drivers to enlighten them on safety measures.

He also called on the various regulatory agencies to ensure that the excesses of tanker drivers were curtailed.

Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, NEMA’s Public Relations Officer, commended Idimu youths for collaborating with relevant authorities in containing the fire.

Farinloye, however, frowned at the recklessness of some commercial vehicle drivers on the highways.

He advised the public against street trading, adding that many lives would have been lost if the fire had occurred during the day.

Mr Rasak Fadipe , the Director, Lagos State Fire Service, told NAN that his men arrived at the scene of the accident at about 12.08 a.m. shortly after the crash.
“Three other fire trucks were deployed from Alausa, Sari-Iganmu and Isolo Fire Stations, and they all responded swiftly.

“We were able to put out the fire with the combined efforts of other security operatives and members of the community,” he said.
He pleaded with truck owners to engage serious-minded drivers to handle their vehicles.
“Literate drivers, who are able to read road signs, should be engaged.

“Drivers should avoid speeding. If they must drive at night, they should ensure that they have adequate sleep during the day.”
A driver and an eyewitness, Mr Femi Ogundele, lauded the swift response of the fire service and other security agencies in bringing the situation under control.

The Unit Commander of FRSC, Ikotun, Mrs Iwuoha Chinwendu, said tanker drivers be made to undergo compulsory tests to ascertain their psychological state.

She cautioned tanker drivers against night journeys because of its attendant risks.  

Credit: Metro Watch

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