BY ERUKUBAMI ODUNWOLE T& IBRAHIM FIRDAUS
But for the recklessness of two drivers, the accident that happened yesterday on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway would have been avoided.
The accident which occurred in the early hours of the day, involved a tanker conveying 44,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, and a trailer lorry, happened by Toyota bus stop right before the office of the Lagos State fire service.
Eye witnesses told The Eagle correspondent who raced to the scene of the accident that it was contest for the road that led to the accident.
One of them, Blessing Anthony added that immediately the tanker fell and had caught fire, that the other driver sped off.
According to him, the fire service team that got to the scene battled to put out the fire but Ok Food, the confectionary company deserved commendation the way its staffers responded when the fire service truck ran out of water.
The tanker had rolled over and burst into flames the Acting Zonal Coordinator, South-West Zonal Office, of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye told journalists.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr.Frederick OLadeinde said interaction from his officers confirmed that collation of the two lorries led to the tanker head detaching and the former catching fire, rather than an engine having fault as some had speculated.
He said the lesson from the accident was for people to respect other road users and not try to dominate
“There are so many people using the road and when you know that you are carrying 55L of fuel and you are dragging the road with another trailer driver that is so disrespectful to the right of Lagosians
“That is what simply happened here, and thank God that there is no casualty but you can see the damage it has done”.
Bemoaning the accident in an interview with The Eagle, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Lagos, Mr Olusegun Ogungbemide said crashes could either be mechanical, human or environmental
He said the current one had nothing to do with the vehicle and also had nothing to do with the road.
“We can see that the road is well laid. It is good for movement but what we have just been told that happened is human error, where you have two drivers struggling over the space that should not be competitive and that’s the result of what we have seen today”.
He said there was every need to test the two drivers to ascertain their levels pf sanity.
“They need to be tested if they are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs because it takes a man that is insane to carry a tanker that is loaded with 400 thousand Litres of fuel and be competing on the road, for what for crying out loud!”
A resident by the name Mr Muhammad Ali told The Eagle that some policemen who arrived the scene early could not do much to disperse a mixed crowd of people that trooped to the scene.
He quoted other eyewitnesses as alleging that some people took to scooping spilled fuel and that rather than stop them, that the policemen just walked away. Our correspondents were not able to corroborate these anyway.
-All pictures by BY ERUKUBAMI ODUNWOLE