Government names owner of tanker that caused Otedola Bridge explosion

The explosion occurred due to a combination of vehicular defect and human errors and the government has vowed to prosecute the owner and driver.

The Mack tanker truck, loaded with 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), lost control of its brake and exploded on Otedola Bridge along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway after spilling its content on June 28, 2018. At least 12 people were killed in the inferno with a few others injured with varying degress of burns.

Preliminary investigation by the government had revealed that the fuel tanker in question was registered in Kano State and had changed ownership 13 times since purchase.

However, while speaking during a meeting on investigations conducted about the accident, at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, the state's Commissioner for Transportation, Ladi Lawanson, disclosed the current owner of the tanker to be a certain Hassan Yusuf Maiwaka.

According to a report by The Nation, Lawanson disclosed that Maiwaka will be brought to the state to face prosecution as the government had earlier ruled that the accident occurred due to a combination of vehicular defect and human errors.

"It is so unfortunate, but the Lagos State government has written to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos to ensure that the owner of the vehicle is brought from Kano to Lagos for prosecution," he said.

Earlier in July, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, disclosed plans to prosecute the driver as well as the owner of the fuel tanker.

Lawanson had also disclosed that the tanker was originally designed as a 14,959kg (approximately 15 ton) drilling rig with low bed in 1999 before it was converted in Nigeria to a fuel tank carrier of 30 tonnes.

"From this preliminary investigation, the truck should not have been loaded to the weight of 30 tonnes, which is twice its pulling capacity," he said.

55 cars lost in accident

Tuesday's meeting was convened by the state's Ministry of Transport to enable the Nigerian Insurers Associations access vehicles damaged in the accident in order to take necessary steps in ensuring prompt and proper payment of compensation to the victims and their families.

Lawanson said a total of 55 vehicles were involved in the accident and 39 of them were registered in Lagos; and their owners have been traced and contacted.

The Director-General of Nigerian Insurers Associations, Yetunde Ilori, assured that all genuine cases of insurance claims involved in the accident will be supported and claims will be paid by the concerned insurance companies both for the burnt vehicles and lives lost.

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