No fewer than 15 people were burnt to death when a tanker laden with petrol fell and went up in flames Tuesday night. The inferno lasted till yesterday morning, at the Berger Suya junction, Apapa, Lagos.
According to a report by Vanguard, several buildings, eight vehicles and about 200 lock-up shops including a commercial bank in the area were razed.
There were, however, conflicting accounts of the number of casualities. While Federal Fire Service and National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, put the figure at 15, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, and the State fire service said only five bodies were recovered.
The fire which started at about 10:35pm on Tuesday was said to have been caused by a tanker laden with 33,000 litres of petrol which lost control as it was negotiating a sharp bend. It exploded close to suya spots in the area.
The driver of the truck, his assistant, several passengers in two commercial buses, by-standers and two Hausa suya vendors were burnt beyond recognition. Rescue workers were seen picking and collecting bones and burnt human parts into cellophane bags.
A commercial bank was not spared as a part of the building which housed the Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, was badly damaged. Eyewitnesses said that the bank guard was trapped and burnt in the inferno.
What a terrible way to lose your life!