17 March 2015, Lagos – Three people lost their lives, while property estimated at millions of naira was destroyed on Tuesday after a petrol tanker went up in flames on the Odo Eran Road in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
Our correspondent learnt that the road slopes upward and while the tanker was ascending, its brake suddenly failed.
It was gathered that the vehicle went backwards down the road, making the tank, which contained 33,000 litres of petrol, to snap off the truck.
It was gathered that the tank exploded after hitting the ground.
Eyewitnesses said the driver of the tanker, a man suspected to be his conductor, and a motorcyle rider, who passed the area at the time, were immediately set ablaze.
The petrol further spilled into the Odo Eran Meat Market, killing two cows, and destroying property valued at N35m.
The electric cables supplying power to the area were said to have been pulled down by the force of the tank.
A motorcyle rider, Daniel Ezekiel, said, “The incident happened around 6.30am. The tanker driver was driving up the road which slops upward as you can see. The brake failed and the tanker started going back. That was how the tank on the truck got disengaged.
“The tank on top went to one side and the head of the tanker went to another side. Everything started burning.”
Another eyewitness, Kazeem Shittu, said the motorcycle rider died instantly, but the driver of the truck was rushed to the Ikorodu General Hospital.
He said, “An okada rider was caught in the inferno. The fire swept him and his motorcycle into the gutter from where his corpse was recovered. He was badly burnt.
“The driver of the bus did not die immediately. He was also burnt, but he managed to escape to the other side of the road. The people rushed him to a hospital.”
A vulcaniser in the market, Mukaila Hassan, said the inferno destroyed his means of livelihood.
“The fire burnt all my tyres. It also destroyed my machine and motorcycle. I lost more than N250, 000 worth of equipment. Please tell the government to come to my aid so that my life will not be ruined,” he said.
A trader in the meat market, Aminat Aliu, said she was at home when she learnt that the market was on fire, adding that by the time she arrived, all her goods were gone.
She put the cost of her loss at N200, 000.
Our correspondent, who entered the market, saw the remains of the two cows that were reportedly burnt to death during the incident.
A trader put the cost of each cow at N300, 000.
The administrative building of the market, which had just been plastered and ready for use, was gutted by the fire.
Mr. Femi Akinrinade, an engineer with Bovas Nigeria Limited, who was among those working on the building, said, “We have finished construction work when the fire ravaged the building. We equally lost 120 bags of cement, two welding machines and a generator, which were in the building. The damage done on all the property here is not less than N15m.”
The roof of the slaughter slab was equally gutted by the fire.