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Chaos on Lagos-Ibadan expressway as petrol tankers catch fire

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There was trepidation yesterday evening as residents of Ibafo and commuters plying the ever-busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway scampered for safety following an inferno ignited by a fallen petrol tanker on the road.

Although there was no report of the death, eyewitnesses said some passers-by and motorists close to the scene sustained some degree of injuries.

As at the time of filing this report, the fire was yet to be put out, while the difficult traffic situation had worsened, extending to Berger. Many stranded commuters were caught in the melee as it added to the plight of motorists enduring snarling traffic at peak period owing to the partial closure of a section of the highway for repair.

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The Guardian learned that the fire was triggered when responders were trans-loading two fallen tankers laden with petroleum products, each conveying AGO and PMS outward the Lagos corridor of the expressway. The two loaded tankers at about 3:00 p.m. skidded off the highway and plunged into the drainage on the right at the narrow entry spot in Kara, Ibafo.

Traffic officers condoned the road for the trans-loading, which caused serious traffic on the road stretching up to the Long Bridge. However, at the point of the trans-loading, the two tankers caught fire leading to the serious commotion on the road.

A traffic officer from Mowe Unit Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), who confirmed the incident, said the second tanker that was being trans-loaded had successfully loaded the petroleum product and was about leaving when the fallen truck caught fire. The resultant effect was total chaos as the road was cordoned off to avert more woes.

A commuter, who gave his name simply as Kunle expressed worries over government insensitivity on the lives of people plying the road since the reconstruction work started at that stretch.

Meanwhile the FRSC Ogun State Command has urged the motoring public to be cautious on both the Lagos-Ibadan and Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressways.

Before the incident, the FRSC Ogun Route Commander, Florence Okpe, stressed that traffic was impaired on the inward Lagos corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway due to the diversion around Kara Bridge, albeit the traffic is moving and being managed by FRSC, assisted by sister agencies.


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