Sunday, 7 June 2015

34 Houses, 70 shops Devastated as Tanker Explosion Rocks Lagos Again

Properties worth millions of naira were yesterday razed by fire following another tanker explosion at Idimu in Alimosho area of Lagos.
The explosion, which occured around 12.30am destroyed 34 houses, 70 shops and a tricycle. It was the third of such tanker explosions in Lagos in the last six days.

According to the Lagos State Fire Service, one of the houses affected belongs to the mother of the former chairman of Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Waheed Bello.
It was gathered from eyewitnesses the explosion was caused by reckless driving as two tanker drivers; one of which exploded engaged in speed race.
It was gathered that the two young drivers, were driving recklessly on the narrow path along Egbe-Idimu Road; even though their trucks were fully loaded with petrol and diesel, leading to an accident which caused the explosion.
An eyewitness Wasiu Folayan related that the explosion occurred twice, saying the first was when one of the tankers lost control at a sharp bend and overturned at Idimu junction.
The second explosion soon came when according to him; the spilled content from the truck caught fire from a nearby Suya spot.
Another resident who spoke with Sunday Mirror, Hakeem Salaudeen, said the heat from inferno could be felt from far distance; even as there came an alarm to wake those sleeping up.
The residents confirmed that men of the State and Federal Fire Service; the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) responded swiftly and timely.
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who arrived at the scene around 12pm, in company of his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, commiserated with the residents, even as he thanked God for no life lost.
The governor said no amount of compensation can redeem the loss recorded, promising however that the state government would support the people in their most critical time.
After a tour of the affected houses, he assured that the state agencies and the Local Council would lend a helping hand in areas of clothing, food and shelter as relief to the displaced persons.
“We will estimate all the destroyed items and once they are ready, we will give support to you all,” Ambode said.
The governor said further that the state had witnessed one too many tanker explosions and it was high time the state government sits with all the unions of tanker drivers in a meeting to ensure it never happen again. The meeting, it was gather will hold on Monday.
He said: “What has happened is a tragic incident. It is very unfortunate because we are beginning to lose lots of our valuables. We have said that our drivers must begin to observe all our traffic rules and we will see to that.”
He appealed to the people to remain calm, and expect the state government to take action to assist them.
Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, told reporters that his men got the distress call at 12:08 am, and mobilised rescue response team from Ikotun.
“On seeing that it was a major explosion, we had to mobilise others from Akowonjo, Sari Iganmu, Ikeja and Alimoso to ensure that the fire didn’t get to the MRS filling station in the neighbourhood, which could have spelt doom for the entire community.”
Fadipe, however, said the spilled content was petrol and not diesel as popularly claimed by residents.
Ibrahim Farinloye of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) added that the full assessment of the incident was ongoing and in the next 24 hours, they would take stock of all the affected, home owners, tenants and children — to have them taken care of according to standard best practice.
Charlse Omoh of Nigerian Red Cross Society, Alimoso Division, said the unfortunate incident could entirely be blamed on driver’s recklessness.



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