Thousands of worshippers returning from Holy Ghost Service of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Saturday miraculously escaped being burnt to death along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway following another major auto crash barely 48 hours after 10 trucks exploded on the same road.
Today’s accident involved 15 articulated vehicles, a luxury bus, five mini buses and two pick up vans, which were burnt to ashes, while trucks loaded with frozen fish, poultry feed, bags of rice, exotic drinks and other valuables worth millions of naira were destroyed by the billowing fire which broke out after the accident.
Although no life was lost, but worshippers returning from the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s Holy Ghost Service were trapped in the gridlock which also caught Florence, wife of the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.
The accident occurred just few metres away from the scene of Thursday’s incident which claimed two lives and severely wounded several others.
Two persons who suffered serious injuries in Saturday’s and were taken to the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, (OOUTH), Sagamu, Ogun State, for medical treatment.
Speaking on the incident, the Zonal Commander in charge the Lagos and Ogun states commands of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Ademola Lawal, said a tractor travelling from Lagos to Ibadan punctured a tanker carrying petrol product while trying to overtake it at about 2.18 a.m.
Mr. Lawal added that petrol gushed out of the 33,000 litres tanker and spread all over the highway, resulting in an explosion.
After hearing the explosion, some motorists quickly abandoned their vehicles and ran for dear lives.
Mr. Lawal said, “At about 2.18 a.m., while we were trying to evacuate the last burnt vehicle in an accident that happened about two days ago, a tractor-kind trailer punctured a tanker loaded with PMS which resulted into an outflow of petrol which spread all over the highway’.
“We quickly disseminated information to all motorists to abandon their vehicles and run away from the scene, all of a sudden there was an explosion and everybody ran to safety. This effort really assisted us from not recording any casualty because men of the Ogun State Fire Service were on ground to put the fire under control.”
Also reacting, the Oyo governor’s wife expressed optimism that the meeting of the South- West governors with President Goodluck Jonathan on the state of the Lagos-Ibadan highway would address the untold hardship being confronted by motorists and commuters. .
Similarly, a trapped Pastor, Peter Adaka, who was returning to Benin after the Holy Ghost service, said he had spent close to five hours in the traffic logjam, having left the Redemption Camp at about 6.15 a.m. However, as at the time of visit to the scene, fire fighters were still making frantic efforts to put the situation under control.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun visited the scene of the accident. He was accompanied by top government officials, and received by the State Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, the State Commander, Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Ayo Sangofadeji, Mr. Lawal and the State Director, Fire Service, Ganiyu Abidoye.
Mr. Amosun enjoined other well-meaning Nigerians to call for immediate intervention of the Federal Government on the derelict Lagos/Ibadan Expressway in order to end the miseries of commuters. He observed that the solution was for all stakeholders to immediately work towards fixing the road.
He expressed regret that another accident of such magnitude occurred in less than 48 hours, noting that the dilapidated Lagos/Ibadan Expressway still accounted for 70 per cent of movement of goods across the nation.
The governor added that a competent professional with proven integrity and expertise should be hired to handle the re-construction of the highway.