By PHILIP NWOSU
Twenty one vehicles including three commercial vehicles were among property destroyed by the fire from a fallen petroleum tanker, fully loaded with 33,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) or diesel.
Also, five commercial motorcycles (okada) were reduced to ashes, while an unidentified man sustained minor injury.
The owner of most of the burnt vehicles who Daily Sun learnt was not around when the fire started was called and he initiated efforts to salvage the remaining vehicles at his car mart.
They estimated the value of the burnt cars at about N100 million but declined to say if they had insurance or not.
The tanker had fallen close to the car dealer’s pool as the tanker lost control and balance adjacent the Festac Town link bridge that connects it to the Amuwo Odofin/Apple Junction highbrow street.
However, witnesses told Daily Sun that the incident occurred at about midday when the tanker heading towards the Apple Junction area detached from the head and fell at the foot of the Festac Town Link Bridge.
Sunnewsonline had broken the news immediately as we got calls from the scene.
The witness we spoke with at the scene later identified as Maxwell Onyedikachi explained that the tanker spilled its product on the road but fire was ignited when a commercial bus at the scene started its engine to flee the scene.
He revealed that the fallen tanker caused huge pandemonium as many business owners around the scene were confused and in terrible panic.
Motorists from the opposite side of the road abandoned their vehicles and flee when they were confronted with the huge flame emanating from the tanker.
Sunnewsonline learnt that the cars that were burnt were second hand vehicles displayed for sale, but most of the vehicles were burnt completely.
Exotic vehicles including five sport utility vehicles (SUV) were destroyed while the operators of the car mart were able to salvage few.
It was gathered that most of the vehicles could have been saved, but the owner who was to give authority to move the cars was not around when the fire started.
Also, another assistant at the mart was unable to hand over the keys of the vehicle for fear of thieves who may cash in on the pandemonium to help themselves.
Another witness who spoke on condition of anonymity said three persons, who were fleeing the scene of the fire, jumped into the lagoon but were later rescued by boat operators who were at the scene.
The General Manager Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu told us that investigation to unravel what really happened before the tanker exploded would be carried out by the police and other security agencies within the area.
The LASEMA General Manager said that it took the joint effort of all the security and safety agencies, including the Lagos State and the Federal Fire Services and LASEMA to put out the inferno at about 2.20pm. (The Sun)