• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Lagos gas tanker explosion: Nigeria operates with most obsolete tank trucks in the world- Expert

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Process safety expert, Ayodele Bakare says tank trucks in use in Nigeria rank among the most obsolete in the world and largely account for the frequency of life-claiming disasters and accidents being witnessed across the country.

Bakare spoke on a TVC live programme tagged “Your View” monitored in Lagos on Friday morning. According to the expert, over 80 percent of the tank trucks on Nigerian roads, conveying petroleum products – petrol, diesel, kerosene, liquefied gas etc, all of which are highly combustible, not only lack safety measures, but are over 30 years of age.

“It is only in Nigeria that this is allowed,” he said, adding that if you check internationally approved standards, most of the tank trucks that ply freely in Nigeria won’t be allowed in other countries of world.

The process safety expert spoke against the recent occurrences in Kogi and Lagos states involving petrol and gas tankers, respectively, in which several lives have been lost and property estimated at millions of naira destroyed.

This is as unconfirmed report says one of the victims of Lagos explosion, who were rushed to hospitals in the state, has died from the severe burns suffered from the fire.

In the case of Kogi on Tuesday, September 22, a tanker laden with petrol was said to have lost control due to brake failure, and crashed by the roadside before exploding in flames, leaving over 30 people burnt beyond recognition. While the dust raisd from the Kogi disaster was yet to settle, Lagos on Thursday, September 24, witnessed a similar incident.

In the Lagos incident which happened at Balogun Bus stop, in Iju-Ishaga axis, no fewer than 30 people were injured, while 15 vehicles and a number of houses were destroyed.

It was learnt that two gas tankers were being offloaded at a gas station in the area when one of the tankers, a 30 tonnes LPG tanker, exploded around 3pm.

The discharging valve of the tanker, which was allegedly compromised, led to leakage and ignited fire. The fire, which spread to adjoining buildings, affected 23 buildings and 35 shops, destroying property worth millions of naira.

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Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Red Cross were at the scene of the incident.

Spokesperson of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, had confirmed to BusinessDay on Thursday that no life was lost in the incident.

He said, “It was discovered that a 30 tonnes LPG tanker being operated by Manna Gas Ltd was involved in an explosion which destroyed several vehicles, X and Y Event Centre and a plank market.

“It was discovered that a compromised seal device by the truck driver led to gradual leakage, which then ignited when the tyres burst. The impact of the explosion led to fire at adjoining buildings and several vehicles were burnt.

“Thirty people were found to have serious injuries and were taken to various hospitals, while two in critical conditions were referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.”

However, the acting coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, said 15 people were injured.

He said, “One of the gas tankers wanted to enter into Manna Gas Refiling Plant and before it could get access inside, it exploded and affected the second gas tanker and other domestic gas cylinders in the gas plant also exploded.

“The explosion affected 18 buildings housing 35 shops; no residential building was affected.

“Fifteen people had various degrees of injury and were taken to Iju Waterworks Clinic, while two were referred to the general hospital; 16 vehicles were burnt.”