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Picture:Explosion kills three in Lagos

* 32 vehicles also burnt as fuel truck falls off bridge, catches fire

By Evelyn Usman, Olasunkanmi Akoni and Bose Adelaja

An explosion triggered by a fuel truck which fell from a bridge before bursting into a ball of fire rocked the Mike Two area of Lagos yesterday.

Three persons were confirmed dead while about 32 vehicles of different brands were razed in the incident.

The truck fell into a motor park.

Eye witnesses gave the time of incident as 1.30 a.m.

As victims counted their losses yesterday, residents said the tragedy would have been more had it happened during day time.

Lagos State police spokesman, Mr. Joseph Jayeoba, said the driver of the ill-fated truck was not among those killed, saying he was on the run.

Eye witnesses said the truck, bearing product suspected to be petrol, fell off the Mile Two bridge as the driver attempted to descend to link to Orile. Motorists plying the route at that time hurriedly made a u-turn.

Vehicles burnt include those of transporters plying the eastern and western parts of the country. Sunday Vanguard learnt that those killed were sleeping inside some of the parked vehicles and kiosks in the garage.

Reports said the fire would not have spread to the garage where the razed vehicles were parked had the fire service arrived on time. But the officials upon arriving the scene could immediately not contain the situation following the magnitude of the fire. There were reportedly over fifteen fire service vehicles around the area battling to put out the raging fire.

The incident caused heavy traffic as motorists plying the route were trapped as early as 5.30am. But the joint effort of policemen and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) eased the traffic situation.

How we escaped death —  victims One of the eye witnesses, a driver who plies Lagos – Benin route and gave his name as Nosa Esemuede, said the ill-fated truck was marked, XB370ATN.

He confirmed that three charred bodies were immediately recovered from the buses in the garage, while several other victims sustained varying degrees of injuries.

“It was just God that saved my life .My own bus , the bus I drove from Benin City to Lagos yesterday  (Friday) evening, has been burnt to ashes and all those people who lost their lives were those people that slept in their buses.

*Some of the burnt vehicles

“You can see it is a garage . This is where we load our passengers and park our vehicles. If we are not going back that same day, maybe be for time or no passenger, we stay there. Yesterday (Friday) night after parking my bus I went to settle a misunderstanding within the family . That is what saved me ,” he said. Trapped in inferno

Another witness, who simply identified himself as Mr. Kazeem, said he escaped death in the accident by  whiskers, pointing out that the situation would have been avoided if the tanker driver now at large had listened to the advise and warning from people.

According to him, “ We were more than 20 people at the park  at that time, because most of us who leave for inter- state trips depart  early and most time we sleep in the park to enable us leave early.

“ I have just finished eating with some other people in the park here when we noticed the tanker in an unstable position. I quickly ran to the scene and told the driver to stop moving because I noticed that one of the tyres was off the road. I told him to wait while I get people to help.”

Kazeem lamented that the recalcitrant tanker driver ignored his plea and went ahead to move the truck.

“ The next thing I heard was a loud sound behind me and when I turned, I saw fire. It was so bad that all I could do was to rush to the park and alerted some people who were sleeping and we all ran out of the place.”

Amid lamentation he explained that three of his colleagues that died were fast asleep and were trapped in the inferno.  Sunday Vanguard learnt that many of the drivers who parked their vehicles after close of work, on Friday, returned yesterday morning to see that their means of lively hold had been consumed by the fire.

-Vanguard

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Posted by on Feb 18 2012. Filed under Headlines, Lagos, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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