By Evelyn Usman & Suliat Elemosho
LAGOS—A tanker conveying 33,000 litres of fuel exploded in the early hours of yesterday, at Ijaniki area of Lagos, with the resultant inferno razing a storey building, some shops and a vehicle.
The tanker, which was also burnt beyond description, was heading inward Badagry to offload its content at a filling station when it fell on reaching Alasia Bus Stop, spilling its content.
Some residents, who ran out of their respective apartments, were said to have rushed to the scene with empty jerry-cans, scooping the spilled petroleum product.
However, they ran in different directions for safety when the explosion occurred, with many abandoning their jerry-cans.
Car owners hurriedly drove far from the scene. Some of them were said to have sustained varying degrees of injuries in the resultant stampede.
A resident, Mr. Emeka Agha, who spoke with Vanguard, said: “I came back from an outing with my family at about 10p.m. on Wednesday, took my bath and retired to bed. But I was jolted from sleep by the alarm raised on the fallen truck.
“I rushed out in my boxers with my wife and children to avoid being trapped in any likely fire. To my shock I saw some people rushing to the scene with jerry-cans, while some were coming with theirs filled.
“We cautioned them to stop, as there could be fire. Just then we heard the loud bang, which sparked off the fire.
“The truck fell by a heap of refuse, which was partly on fire. It was that fire that caused the explosion.”
It was gathered that officials of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, and the Lagos State Fire Service from Badagry and Ojo fire stations, got to the scene at about 1.10a.m. to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to other buildings.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Chike Oti, who confirmed the incident, said there was no report of loss of life.
He said: “The truck was loaded with diesel and was coming from Mile 2. Police saw the incident first hand and raised the alarm, using vehicular sirens and loud speaker to warn residents.
“Policemen, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Ijanikin, CSP Ubine Eugene, were at the scene to control traffic and human conduct.
“The truck driver and the conductor disappeared into thin air. Investigation is still in progress.”