Police, Residents Bicker Over Lagos Tanker Accident | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Police, Residents Bicker Over Lagos Tanker Accident

Posted: Jun 3, 2015 at 4:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• Inferno Destroys Millions Of Property

• Ambode Promises Succour

By Emmanuel Udom  – Lagos

Fuel tanker accident destroyed property worth several millions of naira on Tuesday at Iyana-Ipaja in Lagos state in the early hours of the day at about 1 am as residents in the area locked horn with the police over the cause of the incident.

The accident triggered off an inferno that razed property when a fuel tanker loaded with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol somersaulted at Iyana-Ipaja Bridge.

Although no life was lost but dozens of people that attempted to escape at the scene of the incident got injured and were rushed to the Orile-Agege General Hospital for urgent medical attention.

Most of the residents in the area however blamed the incident on the alleged greed of some police officers that chased the tanker driver to lose control while descending Iyana- Ipaja Bride from Agege.

The tanker spilled its content into gutters in the neigbouhood and subsequently tragedy struck when it resulted into inferno that set ablaze several lock up shops, vehicles and buildings.

Twenty five shops, six residential buildings, eight tricycles popularly known as Keke Marwa and four vehicles got burnt at Oremeji Street opposite the spot where the tanker somersaulted.

The tricycles were marked: MEK 288 WP, BDG 445 QB, DCB 150 WP respectively.

Surprisingly,  Ideraoluwa Central Mosque,  a stone throw from the point of the accident and Fodlulahi Islamic Society of Nigeria, located at 25, Bakare Jafojo Street in Iyana-Ipaja,  were not touched by the inferno.

Along Bakare Jafojo Street, our correspondent counted 16 private vehicles, nine shops, seven houses and 11 Keke Marwa that were almost reduced to ashes.

One Bukky, whose shop was burnt at Oremeji Street, alleged the tanker driver  was chased by some police officers, who were on night patrol, who wanted to collect money from him and in the process, the man lost control of the vehicle.

Her view was corroborated by urchins and many residents  at Kola Ogunjale Street, who claimed that some unidentified police officers allegedly caused tragedy.

But, a popular newspaper vendor, known as Alfa, at Bakare Jafojo in the area, however, said that it was difficult to explain what caused the accident.

He said there was a rumour that the tanker driver was drunk and was driving recklessly while descending the bridge.

Briefing newsmen at the scene, the  State Police Commissioner, Mr Kayode Aderanti said his men were at the scene of the accident and thanked God that no fatality was recorded.

“The tanker fell off the Ipaja overhead bridge. We thank God that we did not have any
fatality, but we had some casualties. The role of the Police is to ensure that we investigate the remote and immediate cause of this accident and bring to book whoever is responsible for this dastardly act.”

On the other hand, Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, Kenneth Nwosu, refuted the allegation against the police.

He said those peddling the rumour against the police officers were not fair to the police in the state because they were working hard to reduce crime to the barest minimum.

At the scene of the incident, police officers from Gowon Estate Police Station as well as Oke-Odo Police Station, assisted by Rapid Response Squad (RRS) police officers condoned off the entire place to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

There were also officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), fire fighters, and that of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) as well as officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has  promised to  ensure that all those who lost property get back to their normal business life.

The Governor who inspected the affected areas and property including vehicles destroyed, alongside the State Police Commissioner, Mr  Kayode Aderanti, the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries
of Special Duties, Dr Aderemi Desalu, Home Affairs, Mrs Grace Oladimeji and  Director of State Fire Service, Mr Rasak Fadipe, said as soon as he receives the report in the next 48  hours, something positive would be done to ensure that life returns to normal.

“As at 1.00 a.m. this morning, a tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of petrol fell from Ipaja Bridge and spilled all its contents within the environs of Ipaja, covering almost five streets here. In the last  four hours, all our emergency agencies have been effectively on ground and we  have been able to  manage and control consequences of what 33,000 litres of petrol would have done to this neighbourhood”, the Governor said in a statement  by the Chief Press  Secretary, Habib Aruna