There was panic and consternation in Lagos as over 20 vehicles and four commercial motorcycles were, on Wednesday afternoon, burnt beyond recognition, after a tanker laden with petrol fell and spilled its content on the Festac Link Bridge in Awuwo Odofin LGA of Lagos State.
While it was gathered that occupants in nearby vehicles managed to escape, a lot of vehicles in the traffic and those parked nearby were burnt to husks, while the fire continued to rage for about an hour.
Fire fighters arrived at the scene about 30 minutes later but did not have enough water to quench the fire.
It was also learnt that the quick response of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), prevented loss of lives.
The combined effort of the emergency response team of the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Government Fire Service, the Federal Fire Service and others paid off. They were able to put out the fire at around 2:20 p.m. yesterday.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), a witness, Mr. Olufemi Popoola, disclosed that the tanker, coming from Apple Junction and going to FESTAC Town, was ascending the bridge but suddenly rolled back and fell.
The impact of the fall separated the tank from the truck’s body, resulting in an explosion, according to Popoola.
He said some residents and passers-by attacked the fire with buckets of water to no avail.
Popoola , who lives in FESTAC, said the fire from the tanker spilled over to nearby vehicles, forcing their occupants to run, abandoning them.
“The fire then spilled into a car shop on the foot of the bridge, burning some of the cars, while the attendants quickly drove out some.
“Furniture items, bags and boxes displayed for sale on the foot of the bridge were all burnt,’’ he said.
The fire caused gridlock on the bridge and in the adjoining roads.
A crowd of affected persons and sympathisers gathered at the scene to lament the situation.
One of the owners of the burnt motorcycles, Mr. Akuko Okoli, said he narrowly escaped death.
It was not clear at the time of the report whether any life was lost to the fire.
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