Eight killed in expressway tanker fire

Written by Maritime First

…As FRSC records 21 road accidents, 18 deaths in Osun***

No fewer than eight people lost their lives on Tuesday when an articulated truck hit a loaded petrol tanker.

The impact was said to have ignited a fire.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the accident occurred at Onigari village, close to the Foursquare Gospel Church Camp at Ajebo, on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.

The tanker, carrying 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, was said to be travelling to Ibadan, Oyo State, while the container truck was heading for Lagos, when the accident occurred.

The Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Babatunde Akinbiyi, said the accident occurred at a point where traffic was diverted to a single lane.

He said the tanker caught fire because the petrol in it poured out after the container truck hit it by the side.

Akinbiyi explained that the casualties were people inside the container.

He said, “Eight persons have been confirmed dead in the inferno; they were burnt beyond recognition. The victims were passengers inside the container truck.”

The TRACE spokesman said the accident caused gridlock on the Ajebo-Ogunmakin end of the road, as it took time to put out the fire.

He, however, added that operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Ogun State Fire Service and the Nigeria Police were on the ground to manage the traffic and remove the charred bodies and vehicles from the road.

The FRSC Route Commander, Florence Okpe, said seven persons were killed in the accident, adding that their corpses were deposited in FON Mortuary, Ipara.

Okpe, who spoke for the Sector Commander, Clement Oladele, explained that the accident was caused by wrongful overtaking.

She said, “The accident occurred around 11.25am near Sandcrete, within the five kilometre radius where RCC diverted traffic to enable repairs of the weakened bridges around the sections of the expressway.

“Three vehicles were involved, including a black Toyota Yaris, with the number plate, MUS 46 EA, a MACK truck and a DAF truck. The number plates of the other two trucks are unknown.

“A total of 12 people were involved in the accident. While seven adult males were killed, one was injured. The FRSC team, assisted by other traffic and emergency agencies, removed the burnt corpses of the crash victims which were deposited in the morgue. The crash scene has been cleared for free flow of traffic.

“The FRSC reiterates the need for motorists to exercise caution and obey the traffic signs erected on this segment of the road which may remain till June 2018 before the repairs are completed and the road open to traffic.

“Travellers are also advised to refrain from travelling inside containers, as the seven burnt victims were inside the container of the truck which caused the crash as it embarked on dangerous overtaking at the portion where traffic was diverted and collided with oncoming vehicles.”

No fewer than 10 bus passengers were killed at the same spot on January 9, 2018 after the driver of a commercial bus rammed into a Dangote truck.

Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Osun says  21 road accidents  were  recorded in the state in January,  with   18 persons dying in the various incidents.

The Sector Commander, Mr Anthony Oko,  made the disclosure  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Osogbo.

Oko  attributed the  road accidents to  reckless driving and excessive speeding on the part of  motorists in total disregard for  traffic rules and regulations

“ The command also apprehended 377 road traffic offenders who violated  the rules and regulations of the RTA, while  90 offenders were educated and enlightened on  road traffic rules,” he said.

The sector commander further said the sector  issued 1,046 driver’s  licence  to motorists in the month  under review.

He said the sector also made appearances on eight television programmes and 12 radio programmes in order to sensitise road users on  the dangers inherent in excessive speeding and  disobedience of  traffic rules.

Oko also  warned motorists against dangerous  overtaking,  drinking while driving ,speeding and other related offences, adding that the command would not spare  anyone caught in such acts.

Additional report from Punch

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