Three Confirmed Dead, Four Others Injured in Ogun Petrol Tanker Explosion



Abiodun bans articulated vehicles from overhead bridges

By Kayode Fasua

At least three persons have been confirmed dead while four others sustained varying degrees of injuries following the tanker explosion that occurred at the presidential boulevard in the Kuto axis of Abeokuta, Ogun State, yesterday.

Following the incident, the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has therefore ordered a complete restriction of movement of heavy duty vehicles from all overhead bridges across the state.

The incident reportedly occurred at about 8.15 a.m., when the 33,000 litre tanker had brake failure while descending the Kuto overhead bridge.

Six cars and six motorcycles were also burnt in the fuel tanker fire.

The situation led to confusion as the incident happened near a private school and a bank with parents rushing to get their children from the school.

Men of the Federal and Ogun State Fire Services were at the scene of the incident to bring the raging fire under control, while motorists were advised to ply alternative routes.

The state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Femi Ogunbanwo, who was at the scene of the incident, said the injured persons had been taken to the state hospital in Abeokuta, and were being treated on government bill.

Also, the Director of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Ige Olufolarin, who spoke with journalists at the scene of the inferno, confirmed the number of causalities, stressing that the accident was as a result of brake failure on the part of the petrol tanker.

The state Director of Fire Services, Mr. Fatai Adefola, told THISDAY that his men came early enough to extinguish the fire, adding that a total number of six cars and six motorcycles were burnt alongside the petroleum tanker in the inferno.

Meanwhile, the state governor has ordered a complete restriction of movements of articulated vehicles from all overhead bridges across the state.

Abiodun gave the order when he made an on-the-spot assessment of the scene of the fire incident with the purpose of ascertaining the cause and ways of preventing a recurrence.

Describing the incident as a sad day for him, a visibly angry governor lamented what he described as avoidable deaths, which he said was coming within the first three weeks of the new year.

Abiodun explained that banning articulated vehicles from plying overhead bridges in Ogun corridors remained the best solution, pending when his administration would evolve a “comprehensive and well thought-out guidelines on how petroleum tankers should operate in the state.”

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