Otedola Bridge Fire

The Lagos state government says it has commenced the identification of the victims of a petrol tanker explosion that took place at Otedola Bridge, Berger, on Thursday.

Adeniji Kazeem, attorney-general and commissioner for justice, disclosed this at a press briefing on Monday.

The accident claimed nine lives, and left four injured while 54 vehicles were burned.

Giving a post-accident update on the explosion, Kazeem said the victims families had started submitting relevant samples to aid DNA testing to identify the dead.

During such a test, DNA samples of close blood relatives are collected and conducted based on similar characteristic traits shared.

Samples including tooth, blood or hair strand, could be collected during postmortem examination of dead bodies.

“I can confirm that today, families who lost their loved ones to the accident have started reporting at the Lagos State DNA Forensic Centre for submission of reference samples that would be used to identify victims,” he said.

Also speaking, Imohimi Edgal, commissioner of police in Lagos state said the owner and driver of the petrol tanker which caused the tragic accident, will be prosecuted.

The police chief said while the incident is currently under investigation, the state government had an eye out for vehicles that could pose danger to commuters.

He said he had received a letter from Kazeem, which points to aspects of the law that could lead to the prosecution of those culpable.

“As regards investigation into the matter, it is in top gear. I have just received a letter from the office of the attorney- general and commissioner for justice which stated very clearly charges which we are going to prefer against the driver and the owner of that tanker,” Edgal said.

“Henceforth, we are using this opportunity to call on all tanker drivers, all lorry drivers, all owners of such articulated vehicles to please submit those vehicles for Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) test; they must go through the entire hub and get the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) Certificate of Road Worthiness. We will not allow such vehicles which obviously pose serious danger to other road users on our roads.”

The commissioner said government had already directed security agencies to intensify enforcement of relevant laws, especially the “State Traffic Law”, which will ensure that the roads and highways are safe for travelers.

He advised people to always stay away from accident scenes, such as that of the tanker explosion, as there could be secondary explosion which could claim more lives.

Edgal commiserated with those who lost their loved ones to the tragic incident and commended emergency responders who worked to keep casualty figures minimal at the scene of the incident.

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