No fewer than two persons have been confirmed dead while four others were seriously injured after a tanker, loaded with petrol, went up in flames at Kara-Aiyetoro, Ogun State end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. It was later confirmed that the tanker was travelling from Lagos State to Ibadan, Oyo State, at top speed, when it lost control and crashed into a truck and a tractor used for construction work by the Julius Berger Construction Company.
The resulting explosion which occurred around 3.30pm on Saturday claimed the lives of the driver of the tanker and one of the occupants of the Julius Berger truck.
Eyewitnesses at the scene of the accident said that firefighters from the Ogun State Fire Service quickly arrived to put out the inferno, while officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps also quickly cleared the wreckage of the vehicles, to ease the traffic caused by the accident.
A mechanic in the area, Joshua Atolagbe, who saw the incident, said the construction workers were caught unawares as they were relaxing inside the vehicles when the crash happened.
He said, “The tanker driver was speeding. He wanted to avoid some potholes when the tanker derailed. It hit the truck and another vehicle, where the workers were relaxing. Before people could rally around to rescue them, the tanker had exploded. The tanker driver and one of the workers died on the spot. Five others suffered serious burns, but they survived the accident. They have been taken to a hospital.”
The Assistant Corps Commander, FRSC, Mowe Unit, Oludare Ogunjobi, said the corpses have been deposited at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital and that the injured were responding to treatment at the hospital.
He said, “The accident resulted from the speeding of the tanker driver. The tanker veered from its path and rammed into a Mercedes truck and a tractor owned by the Julius Berger Construction Company. Two fatalities were recorded while four persons were injured. The casualties were taken to OSUTH.”
Ogunjobi concluded with an urge to drivers to be safety conscious and comply with traffic rules at all times.