Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has described the tanker explosion which occurred on Thursday at the Otedola Bridge on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, as sad and unfortunate.
Ambode, who visited the scene at about 9:30pm on Thursday among other emergency response agencies, commiserated with the families of the victims and those who lost their property to the incident.
The incident, which occurred at about 5:30pm on Thursday, left about 54 vehicles burnt, with at least nine people dead and an unspecified number sustaining various degrees of injuries.
Addressing newsmen at the scene after assessing the situation, Ambode directed the emergency response teams and other relevant government agencies to ensure the immediate removal of all the burnt vehicles from the road.
He said this was necessary so as to open up the road for normal traffic.
“This is quite unfortunate; we are actually on the spot to see what is happening here.
“Like most people must have been aware, this is a tanker that was carrying 33,000 litres of PMS attempting to climb on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway toward the Kara Bridge.
“Unfortunately maybe lost control and then spilled almost all its contents on the road and there was an explosion which caught up with a lot of vehicles.
“At the last count, we have about 50 vehicles burnt and nine bodies also recovered from the scene.
“In all of this, I am happy that our response team has been up and running . The response time to this particular incident was less than three minutes and if not for that, a whole lot of things would have really gone wrong,” he said.
He commended all the agencies saying the government had invested in some of the infrastructure and equipment for emergency.
While commending the people for their patience, the governor assured that the State Government would continue to put measures in place to mitigate such incidents in future.
“Nobody knows when this kind of incident will happen next, but the most important thing is that our response time should be up and running and be able to save lives,” Ambode said.
He also advised residents to always give access to emergency response trams during such incidents.
“I want to commiserate with all the families of those that have lost their lives.
“We never wish for incidents like this but again we take solace in the fact that we were able to save more lives.
“I also want to appeal to Lagosians that we don’t like to see onlookers; there is a need to always give way for our first responders and all our agencies to save lives quickly and that is the whole essence of having the Response Unit,” he said.