Eight persons were burnt to death yesterday in a fire resulting from an accident involving a fuel-laden tanker and a truck on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The crash occurred at Onigari Village, near the Foursquare Gospel Church Camp at Ajebo, on the ever-busy expressway.
The tanker carrying 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called fuel was said to be heading to Ibadan while the truck was coming from Ibadan when the incident occurred.
Witnesses said the truck hit the tanker while attempting to overtake at a narrowed section of the road.
The impact of the collision was said to have ignited the fire.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Babatunde Akinbiyi, who confirmed the incident, said the crash occurred at a point where the traffic had been diverted to a single lane.
Akinbiyi explained that the tanker caught fire when the truck hit it by the side and caused petrol to start gushing out.
The PRO added that the situation was made worse as the truck had some passengers in the container attached to it.
He said: “Eight persons have been confirmed dead in the inferno; they were roasted beyond recognition. The victims were those passengers in the container attached to the truck.”
Akinbiyi stated that the accident led to a gridlock at the Ajebo-Ogunmakin axis of the expressway.
He said it took some time before the tanker fire was put out by TRACE officials and other rescue personnel.
The PRO, however, pointed out that operatives of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), State Fire Service and the police were equally on ground to manage the traffic, and remove the charred bodies and vehicles from the road.
In a statement yesterday, the FRSC Public Education Officer, Florence Okpe, attributed the accident to “wrongful overtaking at the narrowed section of the road where traffic is diverted to enable repairs of the weakened bridges between Fidiwo and Sandcrete around Ogunmakin/Alapako, Ogun State.”
Okpe, however, stated that seven fatalities were recorded in the road mishap.
She said: “The dead victims were burnt beyond recognition and the FRSC team assisted by other traffic and emergency agencies evacuated the burnt corpses of the crash victims and deposited at FON Mortuary, Ipara.
“The crash scene has been cleared for free flow of traffic. It should be noted that traffic advisory was earlier issued by the FRSC on the condition of section of the road as a black spot, warning motorists to drive with caution around the area.
“When traffic at the portion of the road was to be diverted, the FRSC issued a traffic advisory on 13 December, 2017 with traffic signs erected by RCC to caution motorists.”