•One dies as UBA Firemen to the rescue
Bennett Oghifo, Ugo Aliogo and Rebecca Ejifoma
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Adedamola Kuti, has said they would inspect the Obalende Bridge to ascertain the extent of damage, if any, following an unfortunate fire caused by a tanker laden with petrol that fell and exploded yesterday evening.
Fire that resulted from the fallen tanker led to the death of one person and injured others while the fire department of the United Bank for Africa fought gallantly to put out the fire.
Kuti told THISDAY last night that they needed to see the scene clearly during the day and that they would be on ground at Obalende this morning to determine if the fire affected the structural integrity of the bridge.
The tanker fire, according to eye witness account, occurred under a section of bridge directly opposite a petrol station.
Confirming the gravity of the incident to THISDAY last night, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu said the fire incident occurred in front of NNPC Filling Station, Obalende, Ikoyi.
He said in a text message that at “2100hrs 01 May 2020, the Agency received a distress call on the above (tanker fire) incident concerning a 45,000 litre capacity tanker loaded with PMS (premium motor spirit), which was ablaze having fallen on its side directly in front of the petrol station.”
He said efforts to combat the flames by the agency’s officials and men of the Lagos State Fire Service and the Federal Fire Service were successful and that the fire had been extinguished and the station and surrounding buildings protected.
“Unfortunately, the inferno has resulted in a single fatality, 15 minor casualties and one major casualty who happens to be a Lagos State Firefighter. He has been subsequently transferred to the Lagos State General Hospital for treatment while minor casualties received on the scene medical attention.
“We appeal for calm and urge members of the public to keep away and allow the responders to conclude recovery when we will be able to clear the road for vehicular traffic. We regret any inconvenience caused.”
Another eye-witness told THISDAY that the Lagos State Fire department was alerted to the fire outbreak and on arrival, the Lagos State Fire Department was overwhelmed by the raging inferno.
However, following a distress call, the UBA fire service department raced to the scene and within minutes, was able to deploy its state-of-the-art, newly acquired fire-fighting equipment to bring the fire under control, a feat that immediately elicited a rousing ovation from the appreciative crowd who started chanting the name of the bank
Recall that, in line with global safety standards, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc;
Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, then Group Director of Resources and now the Group Managing Director (GMD), UBA PLC said during the testing of the equipment in Lagos that the NAFFCO Fire truck machine, a 6 x 4 wheel drive Mercedes Benz Actross 3332, “is equipped with auxiliary shift for easy maneuvering in all conditions. Though we will deploy the truck for our internal use, it will however be available to complement the services of public fire-fighting agencies in Lagos and its environs. As often demonstrated in our various safety in our work place initiatives, including our regular fire drill services, this new acquisition will strength our capability to respond to emergencies.”