Several persons who witnessed Thursday’s tanker accident on Otedola Bridge along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway have narrated how it happened. Some of them disputed the official casualty figures released by government agencies in the aftermath of the tragedy.
A Mack truck tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of fuel went up in flames after it fell and spilled itscontents on the bridge.
Official figures stated that nine people died while four were injured in the inferno, which also consumed 54 vehicles.
But eye witnesses, who said they were at the scene before the accident said several more people died in the inferno.
A food vendor near the bridge told PREMIUM TIMES that the fire started a few minutes after the tanker’s contents spilled on the road.
She said some drivers frantically attempted to make a U-turn on the bridge while others parked their vehicles some distance away from the tanker.
“Before the fire started, people were still trying to get themselves and their vehicles away from the tanker as the oil continued to spill,” the lady who did not give her name said.
“I was trying to secure the safety of my kids when the fire finally started and it was too late for most people to leave their vehicles.
“There was a woman with four kids in her car. She opened the door and got out of the car but the children were consumed in the fire. There was also a school bus parked with pupils in the middle of the struggling vehicles and everything burnt down to ashes. It really was a gory sight to behold.”
A resident of Otedola Estate told PREMIUM TIMES that she heard people screaming and came out of her apartment.