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Power transformer, shops razed in Anambra tanker explosion

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• Accidents claim 109 lives, injure 450 on Ogun roads in nine months

An electricity transformer and shops were razed in a fire explosion on Wednesday night when a diesel-laden tanker crashed near a petrol station in Agulu, Aniocha local government area of Anambra State.
 
According to an eyewitness, the 33,000-litre tanker driver lost control while descending a slope towards Nise/Amawbia road in the area. Spillage from the truck spread to the transformer and the nearby roadside shops, which suddenly went up in flames.
 
Also, 13 persons sustained varying degrees of injury in another road accident at Okija, Ihiala local government area of the state. The accident, which occurred along Ihiala-Onitsha road same day, involved a white Toyota Hiace bus and a Toyota Sienna space bus.

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Confirming both crashes, the State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Andrew Kumapayi, said no life was lost in both accidents. He said the driver and his conductor who sustained minor injuries, as well as victims of the bus collision were rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
 
While wishing the victims quick recovery, the FRSC boss admonished motorists to adhere strictly to traffic regulations and abide by speed limits and lane discipline.
 
He also advised truck drivers to embark on regular maintenance of vehicles and drive with absolute concentration, just as he urged them to observe at least 15 minutes rest after every four hours of driving to avoid fatigue.
 
Also speaking, spokesperson for the Anambra State Police Command, Haruna Mohammed, said: “On Wednesday around 6:00p.m, a Mack truck belonging to Blessed Omema Oil and Gas Limited with registration number GDD-02-ZN driven by a yet-to-be-identified person and laden with 33,000 litres of diesel, lost control while trying to descend a slope at Umuowelle village, Agulu and crashed.
 
“As a result, the truck was gutted by fire, which razed EEDC transformer and many shops in the area, destroying property worth millions of naira. Police operatives, led by DPO of Neni Division,  Asadu Uche, and other sister security agencies quickly mobilised to the scene and cordoned off the area to prevent looting and further catastrophe. Fire Service was equally invited and extinguished the fire. The truck driver and his conductor are still at large but there was no loss of life.”

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MEANWHILE, the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement (TRACE) Corps Commander/Chief Executive, Seni Ogunyemi, has said over 109 deaths and 450 injured persons were recorded within nine months in the state this year.
 
Ogunyemi made this known at the 5th annual TRACE Commanders’ Conference and 15th anniversary lecture held at Valley View Auditorium, Government House, Abeokuta yesterday.
 
He identified major causes of the accident as reckless driving, carelessness, burst tyres and nonchalant attitude of road users, noting that most accidents could be averted if necessary actions are taken.
 
He said if strict actions could be taken to deal with reckless driving in the state, many of the accidents could be averted, noting that strict compliance would now be enforced on road users across the state.
 
“If their vehicles are impounded and within one month, they can’t meet up with the condition for release and the vehicles are auctioned, they will abide by rules guiding the roads,” Ogunyemi said.
 
He noted that the commands were fully equipped with public enlightenment gadgets and sensitisation materials to bring more public participation into the ‘Safety Drive’ through the TRACE Traffic Whistle Blower Initiative.

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