By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Three people sustained injuries and 10 vehicles were burnt when two tankers loaded with petrol exploded at the Ascon Fuel Station in Lekki area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The fire was said to have begun around 2.00pm and spread to other areas, and several cars parked within the fuel station.
But for the timely intervention of the Lagos State Fire Service who arrived the scene few minutes later, the situation could have degenerated as the firemen battled to extinguish the inferno.
“What we learnt was that it was a fuel tanker. The tanker suddenly caught fire and spread across the road to an empty land. The fire was raging, but the fire fighters succeeded in bringing it under control,” said an eyewitness, who preferred to be called Ugochukwu.
Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe said the fire involved two tankers fully laden with 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, 10 other vehicles and two motorbikes.
Fadipe added that one dispensing pump was also affected in the fire, saying that the Eti-Osa fire station was immediately alerted and responded to the distress call.
He said the magnitude of the fire prompted the mobilisation of other fire trucks from Onikan and Alausa fire stations, saying that “what you are seeing here has shown our capability and ability to tackle outbreak of fire in the state. The fire was very massive; you could see it from a very far distance billowing into the sky.
“Now we have been able to confine it. Presently, the fire that engulfed the 10 cars have been put off, one of the fuel tanker has been put off, what we are doing is to tackle the fire on the other fuel tanker. Because of the type of product that it is carrying that is why you can still see fire there. It’s still going to burn out on its own.”
“There was also radiation in the structure of the fuel station itself. If we had not responded promptly, the whole station would have been engulfed in fire, but because of our swift response to the emergency, we have been able to prevent it from spreading to other pumps,” he added.
Fadipe said the three persons who sustained injuries were attended to by the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), lamenting that this latest fire incident, brought to 12, the number of petrol chemical fire incidents the fire service had responded to this year.
He disclosed that the Fire Service had so far responded to 548 fire incidents from 1 January to 21 March this year alone, with the latest bringing the number to 549.
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