- Category: Travel & Transport
- Published on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 05:03
- Written by Sun
- Hits: 1404
A pregnant woman and one other person on Tuesday lost their lives to a fuel tanker fire incident that claimed about 20 vehicles at the Bola Ahmed Tinubu International Tanker Terminal, Orile-Iganmu, Lagos.
Eyewitnesses said the inferno began at about 1:45.p.m and burnt uncontrollably till the fire fighters stormed the place at about 2:30.p.m. They attributed the cause of the fire to what they described as ‘illegal transfer of petroleum products’ from one tanker to another at the park.
The park, they stated, was built to accommodate empty tankers but lamented that some of the operators converted the place to a ‘black market arena.’
Our investigation revealed that the fire actually started from a generator used to pump the fuel from one tanker to the other. In the process, the generator sparked and resulted in flames that consumed multi-million naira property. When Daily Sun visited the scene, a combined team of men of the Federal Fire Service, Lagos State Fire and Safety Service, Nigerian Ports Authority and Julius Berger Plc were seen trying to extinguish the fire that burnt with fury.
Men of the Lagos State Police Command were on ground to maintain security. Some officials of the Lagos State Environmental Management Authority (LASEMA) were also at the scene. A crowd of sympathizers also trooped to the park.
The incident, however, led to an intractable traffic snarl at Orile-Iganmu and its environs. The traffic snarl, which started at Orile-Iganmu, extended to Suru-Alaba along Lagos Badagry Expressway. The development, also, paralysed economic activities in the area. Operatives of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Lagos State Transport Metropolitan Agency (LASTMA) also manned the roads leading to the scene.
Among the early callers to the scene of the incident were the Chairman of Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area, Dr. Segun Adedayo and Seriki Hausa of Ijora, Alhaji Mustapha Mohammed. Adedayo said he received the news of the incident with shock and quickly contacted the fire fighters in the state to come to their rescue. He was happy that the combined team of the fire fighters responded to the distressed call quickly. He, however, expressed his sadness over the non-application of safety measures by the tanker operators.
Mohammed who said the total estimate of the burnt tankers was N80 million excluding the contents, explained that a truck is sold at the rate of N4 million.
One Alhaji Lawan Umara, who introduced himself as a petroleum marketer urged the national body of NUPENG to institute a panel of enquiry in order to fish out the saboteurs and punish them accordingly. The Director, of Fire and safety Service in Lagos State, Mr. Adedayo Ajose, told Daily Sun at about 4:30.p.m. that 90 per cent of the fire had been put under control. He blamed the operators for their carelessness in keeping to the rule of fire safety in their business. As at 6:00.p.m. the fire was still raging while the combined team of the fire fighters were still battling to put out the fire completely.