Explosion averted as tankers collide, spills content on Otedola bridge
Another explosion was yesterday averted at the popular Otedola Bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway when loaded tankers laden with kerosene and diesel had a head-on collision in-ward Berger and spilt its contents on the highway. The disaster on the bridge famous for tanker explosion was averted by the prompt response of emergency responders.
The incident occurred at about 8:00 a.m. inward Berger bus stop, which subsequently led to severe traffic gridlock. As a result of the accident, road users were urged to avoid the area and make use of alternative routes to get to their destinations.
According to an eyewitness account, the accident involved two petroleum tankers on top speed jostling for the Right of Way. Despite the panic created by the fuel spill, many commuters and residents of the area later invaded the scene to scoop products with kegs and jerry-cans from the tanker.
There were no casualties but the incident led to heavy gridlock as motorists waited for several hours for the situation to clear while those who couldn’t divert via other routes.
The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, who confirmed the incident, said the situation was, however, brought under control in collaboration with men of the Lagos State Fire Service.
“The agency received a distress call and activated a response team to the incident scene. Upon the arrival of the agency’s response team at the scene, it was observed that there was an accident involving a Mack tanker loaded with 50,000 litres of kerosene with registration number AGB-447XA and a second Mack tanker also fully loaded with 45,000 litres of diesel with registration number KRD 467XZ.
“Investigation conducted revealed that the two tankers had a collision while at top speed as a result of reckless driving. The subsequent impact led to the tanker loaded with diesel splitting its contents on the road. No casualty was recorded. The state fire service on arrival blanketed the affected areas in order to forestall the occurrence of any secondary accident as some residents stormed the area to scoop the spilt products but were later dispelled by men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the state police command.”
At the time of filing this report at about 9:30 a.m. recovery operation was ongoing as motorists were diverted to alternative routes.
Otedola Bridge has become notorious overtime for incidences of falling tankers leading to major casualties. Residents said they expect authorities to come up with a lasting measure towards preventing persistent accidents at the axis.