Nigeria needs to do more to avert continuous tanker accidents

In the early hours of today, at about 6:45 am, multiple heavy-duty vehicles, including a tanker laden with fuel, a huge truck and about three other cars were involved in a ghastly accident at Mobil junction, close to Anthony Bus stop along the ever-busy Ikorodu road in Lagos state. Petrol from the tanker spilled all over the road but no death was recorded. The Lagos state Fire service arrived at the scene in less than ten minutes after the accident occurred. People were later seen scooping fuel into buckets as the fuel spilled from the tanker, an act that is typical of Nigerians whenever a petrol tanker falls. These people think about the money they are going to make from selling the scooped fuel forgetting about the risk involved in it.

The accident has led to a serious gridlock on the Ikorodu road, which sees a heavy traffic in the early hours of the morning. As at the time of this reporting, motorist were seen using only the service lane while road users made hysterical calls to their loved ones asking them to avoid the route.

The consistency of tanker accidents in Nigeria, is not a rare occurrence, it’s a sign that the government needs to put more measures in place to reduce the hazards these tankers are causing in Nigeria. In this year, over 150 lives have been lost and several properties destroyed due to accidents caused by petrol tankers.

In June, a diesel tanker crash in Onitsha, one of Nigeria’s largest commercial hubs, left about 70 people dead and damaged an untold amount of property.

The government, Federal Road Safety Corps, and companies who own heavy-duty vehicles must work together in restructuring road safety and management. All commuters should also demand better safety practices and improved enforcement from their elected officials so that accidents cease to be a part of daily life. The public should also note that it is not safe to scoop fuel spilled from fallen tankers, which may lead to their death.

Images taken at the scene of the accident on Ikorodu road today:

Fuel Tanker 4

Fuel Tanker 3

Fuel Tankers1

Fuel Tanker 2

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