The Lagos State Government has dismissed the widespread misinformation about casualties from the Thursday tanker explosion in the Ijora area of the state.
Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, announced on Friday afternoon that there were zero deaths in an explosion that occurred at the Orile/Ijora bridge inward Apapa on Wednesday night.
No fewer than eleven vehicles were razed by the fire, which broke out when a truck laden with fuel rolled back while climbing the bridge and hitting another truck in the process. The collision resulted in an explosion that engulfed the scene.
Omotoso told newsmen during the visit of some State Cabinet members who visited the scene on Friday afternoon that there is no truth in the reports making the rounds that some lives were lost to the explosion, adding that such reports were social media fake news. He urged people to stop posting misleading videos.
Other Cabinet members at the site of the accident on Friday include the Commissioner of Transportation, Oluwaseun Osiyemi, and his Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations counterpart, Gbenga Oyerinde, as well as the Special Adviser on Works, Engr. Olayinka Adekunle.
According to Omotoso, there was no loss of life or injuries as the occupants of the razed vehicles escaped unhurt.
He said, “A truck was trying to climb the bridge, and another one was close by, and another was parked on the bridge, but the space for them to maneuver was not that large enough. The one that wanted to climb could not go up; it rolled back and hit the one behind it, and there was a spark that led to the huge fire that we saw last night.
“I have seen some videos of fire from other places that people mischievously said was what happened here at Ijora, and I have seen some reports that people died here, but I would like to announce to you that we haven’t lost anybody in this fire. About 11 vehicles were involved, and now, as you can see, our people are trying to clear the place”.
Omotoso applauded all the first responders for their prompt response to the explosion while also assuring residents that the site would soon be cleared completely of the burned vehicles to ensure a free flow of traffic on the axis.
Omotoso said: “After the incident on the Otedola Bridge, around 7:45 p.m., this incident occurred. First, I would like to thank our first responders for the way they reacted to this accident; they made sure it wasn’t as bad as some people thought. They responded as fast as possible; firefighters and LASEMA were all here; they put in a yeoman’s job to put out the fire.
“About forty percent clearance of the scene of the accident has been done now. All of the vehicles you are seeing here are going to be moved away from here and taken to a safer place. Normalcy will return here in a matter of hours”.
Omotoso also corrected insinuations that the explosion was the result of a bad road, saying the state government had been carrying out palliative works on the road to ensure smooth transportation around the axis.
He said the government was not neglecting the road.
“Well, if you look at this road, you will notice that it has been enjoying some palliatives for some time; it is not a road that has been left to deteriorate anyhow, as you see the stones and pebbles that have been put in the potholes that we have here. That shows the government is not neglecting this road, even at the federal level.
“In fact, as we speak, meetings are ongoing on modalities to fix this, and as a matter of fact, the contract to fix this road has been awarded,” Omotoso said.