The Lagos state government on Sunday released preliminary findings following its investigations into last week’s tragic Lagos tanker explosion on Otedola Bridge inward Ojodu Berger along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway which claimed lives and property.
Commissioner for transportation, Ladi Lawanson, who addressed the press, said the state government has taken some decisions following the incident. They include:
- Fuel tankers are now restricted to designated trailer route going forward. The route is Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway via Ogudu to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
- It is now compulsory for all articulated trucks coming into Lagos to obtain the Ministry of Transportation’s Road Worthiness Certificate at any of the designated centres within the next 30 days. New centres along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be established to quickly cope with the expected demand for the service.
- The state government, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, would set up joint-enforcement of the operating laws.
- Barriers would be installed on bridges in Lagos to prevent articulated trucks including Ojuelegba, Mobolaji Bank Anthony, Ekodeso, Abule-Egba, Lekki-Ajah, among others.
The preliminary report showed that the accident was caused by a combination of vehicular defects and human errors.
Details of the affected tanker:
- It was registered in Nasarawa Local Government, Kano State, with registration number NSR 888 YC.
- It had changed ownership 13 times since purchase.
- It was designed as a 15 ton drilling rig with low bed, but it was converted in Nigeria from a drilling rig to fuel tank carrier to carry 30 tonnes.
The truck was clearly carrying a load to the weight of 30 tonnes which is twice its pulling capacity. The commissioner said this ought not to have been so.
On restriction of tankers to certain hours:
The commissioner said the government considered suggestions to restrict of operation of tankers to certain hours, but they decided against doing that. Here is why: “Imported petroleum products are pumped from import jetties at Atlas Cove through pipelines to Ejigbo Depots in Lagos, Mosimi (Ogun), Ibadan (Oyo), Ilorin (Kwara) and Ore (Ondo), and due to pipeline vandalism, any restriction of such would undermine supplies and threaten the wellbeing of the Nigerian economy since there is high demand for petroleum products across the country.”
“At a time of great expectations for our economy to fully bounce back from recession, we believe that ensuring unhindered supply of petroleum products is indeed a patriotic contribution by Lagos State to the nation’s economic survival,” Lawanson said.
He, however, disclosed that the state government was already exploring alternative modes of transportation of petroleum products to separate passenger traffic from cargo movements within the metropolis in the interest of the public safety and order.
Update on the victims was given by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Seye Oladejo:
- Out of the four injured persons that were taken away from the scene, one died, while government is taking full responsibility for the treatment of others.
- He denied allegations that some victims were rejected by the General Hospital in Surulere, saying that the victims were only taken to LASUTH, Ikeja and Burns and Trauma Centre in Gbagada.
- Altogether, nine people passed on at the incident and they were all burnt beyond recognition. Government has 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.