President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and sorrow over Thursday’s fire incident in Lagos where many people are feared killed with several vehicles burnt.
The president made his feelings known in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja, on Thursday.
“I’m very sad to learn of the tragic loss of lives, tens of vehicles, property and other valuables in the petrol tanker fire,’’ said President Buhari in reaction to the early reports reaching him concerning the incident.
Mr Buhari expressed his deepest condolences to the government and people of Lagos over the tragic incident.
He said: “Sadly, this seems to be one of the greatest tragedies we have seen in recent times.’’
The president urged the emergency services and law enforcement officials to do their best to limit the losses and damage from the incident.
According to him, the priority now is to ensure the survival of those people who could still be in danger.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had earlier quoted the Federal Road Safety Corps saying that nine persons died in the petrol tanker fire around Otedola Bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Thursday after it caught fire and spread the inferno to the vehicles behind.
The FRSC also said in its update that the victims were burnt beyond recognition. There were four other serious injuries.
According to the FRSC, 54 vehicles were burnt. There were 45 cars caught in the inferno, along with five buses, two trucks, INEC tricycle and the tanker.
According to Bisi Kazeem, spokesman of the FRSC, the cause of accident was brake failure suffered by the petrol laden tanker.
A joint rescue operation involving FRSC, LASEMA, NPF, RRS, NSCDC, Lagos State Fire service, LASTMA was mounted promptly within 10 minutes of the accident he said.