Gridlock paralyses vehicular movements around Ikeja, environs
Sympathisers wail, recount experiences

By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Bose Adelaja

At least four unidentified bodies have been recovered from the debris of the gas tanker explosion which occured around midnight at Maryland, inward Ikeja area of the state with several vehicles, running into millions of naira burnt to ashes in the process.

Several others also sustained different degree of burns, while few are currently battling for survival as they are receiving medical attention at emergency wards of General Hospital.

According to an eyewitness, the inferno which occured around 12 midnight at Ikeja, infront of Sheraton and Opic plaza, was later put out by men of the Lagos- State Fire Rescue Services and men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Nigerian Police and other emergency responders.

Director-General, LASEMA Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the deaths recovered so far.

Thousands of residents and sympathisers thronged the scene of the tragedy as rescue workers battled to bring the situation under control.

The road has been cordoned off to enable unhindered rescue operations by emergency team.

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Motorists and other road users are trapped in terrible gridlock as a result of the unfortunate incident which has extended into the ever busy Ikorodu Road and Gbagada end of the road.

LASEMA, therefore, urged other road users to make use of alternative routes to avoid been caught in the griclock as well as prevent the situation from degenerating.

According to Oke-Osanyintolu, “On arrival of the Tiger officials at scene of the incident, it was discovered that a gas tanker was on fire as a result of explosion while the gas tanker was moving inward ikeja.

“The fire spread to Opic plaza and affected the building and several vehicles parked at the car park.

“Subsequently, the fire has been put out by combined efforts of first responders while recovery efforts are on-going.”

One of the eyewitnesses told Vanguard that the incident occurred at exactly, 11.45 pm, Thursday, when the gas tanker who was on speed suddenly exploded into ball of fire, spreading quickly to buildings around.

“Those, who were caught in the inferno were screaming, help, help, but no one could respond at that particular time as everyone scampered to safety.

According to Oke-Osanyintolu, “The resultant explosion affected the OPIC Plaza leading to an inferno which damaged 22 parked vehicles within the premises.

“First responders worked to control the spread to the adjacent properties as well as the nearby petrol station until 0400hrs Friday. 13 people were rescued, 9 males, 4 females they sustained varrious degree of burns and were provided with pre-hospital care before taking to Lagos State health facilities for further treatment.

“The affected truck has been moved, the entire affected area cordoned off, and post-disaster assessment ongoing.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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