14 October 2014, Ibadan – Victims of a fuel tanker explosion at Molete in Ibadan, Oyo State which claimed about 15 lives and left several others severely injured last Saturday have been counting their losses since the unfortunate incident happened.
Among the victims was pregnant woman who died with her children.
Vanguard Metro, VM, gathered that the accident happened when a fully loaded tanker had brake failure which made it lose control and emptied its highly inflammable contents on the road.
The victims were rushed to the Accident and Emergency section of the University College Hospital, Ibadan.
Apart from human casualty, property worth millions of naira were reduced to ashes. According to an eyewitness, 50 shops, 13 vehicles, three houses, seven commercial motorcycles, three commercial tricycles and several other items were lost to the accident.
While some of victims thanked providence for making them escape the raging inferno, they were complaining bitterly about the debt incurred due to loss of their property.
One of the victims who identified himself as Chigozie Eze said the accident had left him completely “naked”.
Chigozie, who sells drugs said: “I had left the shops and was on my way home when I received a call that my shop was on fire”. He continued: “When I got there, I was shocked to the bone marrow seeing the extent of the accident”.
Giving vivid account of how the accident happened, the highly depressed trader said: “I learned that the truck driver was trying to avoid a bad spot on the road when negotiating the roundabout but lost control of the vehicle in the process. The contents spilled on the road and was followed by an explosion.
God saved my brother who escaped through the back door but we lost everything. I had more than N400,000 in the shop. One of our customers was unlucky as he lost his life in the raging fire”.
Another victim, Subairu Ajayi, a building tools seller, said he lost all his stock in the fire. While lamenting the ugly incident, he explained that five of his colleagues sharing the same shop with him lost their wares worth N1.2 million.
One of his colleagues, Isiaka Bello, lamented that they were caught in the incident because most times they would be forced to wait till late in the night since they hardly have good sales during the day. He said he also lost a Volkswagen Golf car to the fire.
Another victim, Abduraheem Aliu, said the fire had consumed all he had. Though his stock is only worth N100,000, he said that was all he had to cater for his family. He was selling electrical materials.
He said those who died were mostly commuters who were there to board commercial to their respective destinations, as well as some private car owners.
Others, he said, are people who were not part of the market during the day, but took advantage of the night to do their businesses.
The Iyaloja of Molete Market, Alhaja Iswat Oyinlola, said the casualty figure would have been more but for a nearby river.
In her own account, she said: “I was at home around 10 pm when I got the message that a petrol tanker lost control and fell at Molete roundabout and spilled its fuel which resulted into fire.