18 October 2015, Lagos – Fire from a petrol tanker, which fell on its side at Owode-Ijako junction, along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway in the early hours of Saturday, reportedly killed the driver and injured a family of six.
The driver’s name was given as Wale Olaitan, a resident of the Shasha area of Lagos.
The tanker was heading towards Ifo- Abeokuta axis when the incident happened.Two buildings, located on numbers 96 and 98 on the Lagos-Abeokuta Road, which were situated adjacent to the spot where the tanker fell, were affected by the fire. The occupants and their property were also affected.
The family of six, who live at house number 96, and whose identities had yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report, suffered some degrees of burns and were receiving treatment in a hospital.
No fewer than three shops were also burnt by the fire.
According to a resident, Mr. Kareem Saheed, the incident occurred around 4.30am. He said the tanker fell and spilled its content at the Owode-Ijako Junction, adding that about 15 minutes later, a loud bang was heard, and instantly, the tanker caught fire, spreading to adjoining areas.
He said, “My father is the owner of one of the houses (house 98) affected by the fire. The tanker, from the information we gathered, fell around 4.30am on that Owode-Ijako junction, where the road is very bad. It spilled its content.
“About 15 minutes later, there was a loud bang and the whole place caught fire, including the tanker. Nobody knew what triggered the fire.”
Two vehicles, a Toyota Yaris and a Mazda 323, parked inside house number 98, were completely razed.
A Volkwagen truck that was partially burnt was seen parked beside the road in front of the house.
The owner of one of the shops affected by the inferno, Mrs Adeyinka Onileowo, said she had lost everything she had inside her shop at house 96.
She said, “I used to sell engine oil, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. I lost everything to the fire.”
Another shop owner, Obraije Nwaola, who sells vehicle spare parts, said all his consignments, including motor engines, were consumed by the fire.
“Everything I lost is close to N1m, if not above,” he lamented.
The Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Traffic Enforcement and Compliance Agency, Babatunde Akinbiyi, said the tanker driver lost control due to “over-speeding and brake failure.” He added that the accident occurred around 3.45am.
The state Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Kareem Olanrewaju, said the incident occurred around 4.30am, when their office at Ota received a distress call from some residents about the tanker.
He said, “Though the tanker was halted by the median fell on its side, the content spilled over the expressway and crossed to the residential areas.
“The driver who was already soaked with petroleum product while trying to seek help. He unconsciously moved near a generator as a result of which he caught fire and consequently spread to the tanker. According to information, the driver who was later known as Wale Olaitan, a resident of Shasha in Lagos died immediately.”
Firefighters were later invited and they put out the fire.
The state Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Adetunji Adegoke, also confirmed the incident.
The incident led to gridlock on the dual carriage road, on Saturday, forcing some motorists heading toward the Ifo axis to drive against oncoming traffic.