By Kunle Adedoyin
Many Lagosians, on Tuesday, at the risk of their lives struggled to scoop petrol from a leaking petrol tanker that ran into a container lorry in the Mile 2 area of Lagos State.
The tanker driver, had in a bid to avoid a mild traffic, ignored the directives of officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASMA) and rammed into the container lorry around 11am.
In the crash, the tanker body was punctured by the side, causing intense fuel spillage that caused fear and panic among commuters and traders in the area.
Eyewitnesses said despite the fear, some Lagosians still went ahead to scoop petrol from the leaking tanker.
“Because of the hardship in the country, people around the area started using bowls to steal the fuel. But some community members, traders and drivers’ union members at the garage cautioned them against scooping the fuel for fear of an explosion,” an eyewitness said.
Another eyewitness said the remaining fuel in the tanker was tansferred to another tanker, adding that the incident caused gridlock in the area.
“Policemen and LASTMA officials cautioned the people against scooping the fuel to avoid a fire incident. The remaining fuel in the punctured tanker was transferred to another tanker, but the incident caused serious gridlock under the bridge at Mile 2.
“The tanker driver was driving inward Orile when the accident occurred; it was the LASTMA officials, who informed the fire service and it took their personnel around 45 minutes to get to the scene. Normalcy has been restored in the area and the vehicles have been removed from the road.”
However, Nigerians condemned those, who took advantage of the situation to steal fuel, while ignoring the inherent danger.
Notable among those who reacted to the incident was Michael Collins, aka Don Jazzy, who wrote on his Instagram handle, “Poverty won’t allow us to be educated or have common sense.”
Margaret Adeseye, Acting General Manager, Lagos State Fire Service, said personnel of the agency, who were mobilised to the scene, used chemicals to neutralise the fuel that was spilt on the road to prevent a fire outbreak.
“My men were at the scene to rescue the situation and prevent an inferno. We cannot rule out the chances of people scooping fuel, so our men were on the ground to prevent the situation from escalating and used chemicals to neutralise the spilled fuel to prevent a fire outbreak,” Adeseye said.