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Tanker Explosion Lagos restricts movement of long vehicles

The state government also directed fuel tanker drivers to henceforth ply the designated trailer route -Apapa/Oworonshoki expressway via Ogudu to the Lagos/Ibadan expressway.

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Tanker explosion rocks Lagos again play

Emergency responders remove fuel tanker that caused Lagos explosion

(Twitter/@rrslagos767)

The Lagos State Government on Sunday gave a 30-day ultimatum to all articulated vehicles coming into the state to obtain the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) certificate of road worthiness or face sanctions.

The state government also directed fuel tanker drivers to henceforth ply the designated trailer route -Apapa/Oworonshoki expressway via Ogudu to the Lagos/Ibadan expressway.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson, gave the directive at a news conference in Alausa, Ikeja, alongside members of NUPENG and the Container Truck Association of Nigeria on development arising from the fuel tanker explosion on Thursday.

Lawanson said that 10 operational centres had been designated to process applications immediately, while new centres would be established quickly on the the Lagos/Ibadan expressway to cope with the expected demand for the service.

He said the centres include: Berger Ojodu, Odogunyan Ikorodu, Agric/Ishawo Road, Ikorodu, Worksyard, PWD, Shogunle, NCI Gbagada, VIS Yard, Oko-Afo, Badagry, VIS Yard, Ayobo in Ipaja, Test Centre in Badagry, VIS Yard, Epe and VIS Yard, Oko-Oba Abbatoir.

Lawanson said that government would embark on awareness campaign to persuade all vehicle owners to obtain MOT road worthiness certificate.

We hereby call on motorists and the general public to join hands with us to prevent avoidable deaths due to the presence of vehicles unfit to ply the roads.

“Let us protect each other by asking our friends to save lives by obtaining their road worthiness certificates, ‘’ he said.

Lawanson said that the state government in 2017 upgraded vehicle testing operations and launched the Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centres to ensure that vehicles which ply the roads and highways were road worthy.

“This measure recorded positive results. Between April 1, 2017 and May 2018, a total of 178, 267 vehicles were tested,’’ he said.

Lawanson said that investigation conducted so far by the state government indicated that the truck involved in the explosion NSR 888 YC, was registered in Kano State and had changed ownership 13 times since purchase.

This truck was designed as a 14,959kg, approximately 15 tonnes drilling rig with low bed but was converted in Nigeria from a drilling rig to fuel carrier to carry 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.

Lawanson said that further investigation into the current ownership of the fuel tanker and other related details was progressing.

He said that facts obtained in the course of investigation had compelled the review of the legal, economic and social framework of the current management of traffic involving tankers loaded with fuel and other cargoes within the state.

Lawanson said that the government was also exploring alternative modes of transportation of petroleum products to separate passenger traffic from cargo movement within the metropolis in the interest of public safety.

The South West Chairman of NUPENG, Mr Tayo Aboyeji, while commiserating with the victims’ families, said that the union was in support of the government to put an end to tanker accidents in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fuel tanker explosion at the Otedola Bridge inward Ojodu Berger on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, left about 54 vehicles burnt, nine people dead and an unspecified number of people sustained various degrees of injuries.

Giving update on the accident, Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Seye Oladejo said the government is taking full responsibility for the treatment of those injured.

According to him, one person died out of the four injured persons that were taken away from the scene.

The commissioner also denied reports that the General Hospital in Surulere rejected some people, adding that they were only moved to LASUTH, Ikeja and Burns and Trauma Centre in Gbagada.

“When you have such incident of that magnitude, as part of our training as emergency responders, we need to be very careful the way we handle our communication so that we don’t raise unnecessary alarm. It is important for members of the public to remain calm while we get all our acts together, otherwise we would also be asking for another emergency.

“Altogether, nine people passed on at the incident and they were all burnt beyond recognition. We have set up a helpline at LASEMA to try and open a communication channel with members of the public and with family members of the victims. It is important that DNA is conducted otherwise we would end up giving the wrong bodies to some families to go and inter and that would become another issue entirely.

“This kind of situation really calls for patience and understanding on the part of members of the public and most especially families of victim. As much as we sympathise and commiserate, things still have to be done professionally. As a government, we are alive to our responsibility and the major business we have is to ensure safety of lives and property and we are committed to that. We have signed up on that, you are also aware of the massive investment of the state government on issues bothering on emergency and response,” Oladejo said.

The commissioner also said that the integrity of Otedola Bridge has not been compromised as a result of  the incident, adding that the Lagos state government will embark on the repair of the damaged parts of the road.

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