From Chuks Moses, Awka
Residents and road users took to their heels, running helter skelter, while others abandoned their wares and vehicles as another tanker laden with Liquified Natural Gas (LPG), otherwise called cooking gas, crashed at the descent to the Upper Iweka area of the commercial nerve centre of the South East, Onitsha on Tuesday.
The unfortunate incident, coming barely a month after one of most deadly petrol tanker disasters in the area, raises questions as to what the Federal, State, and Local Governments can do to permanently contain this recurring decimal.
In a release by the Police Public Relations Officer for the Anambra state Police command Mr Mohammed Haruna, the gas tanker with Reg No Lagos JJJ 106 XU and fully loaded with cooking gas lost control and crashed into the pavement of Onitsha/Awka Express way, about 150 meters away from the newly rehabilitated pedestrian Bridge at the MCC bus stop, Onitsha.
The state police command had quickly sent in their men while other emergency responders rose to the occasion and cordoned off the area to avert disaster. Traffic were consequently diverted to safer routes.
The security agents quickly passed word round through mass media channels for the members of the public to keep off the area in view of the combustible nature of the product in the truck.
Worse, another disaster was averted earlier Tuesday as a Mack petrol tanker with Registration number Delta EFR 10 ZQ laden with forty-five thousand litres of premium motor spirit (petrol) lost control and fell at the very popular Traffic light junction bus stop, Nnewi in Nnewi North local Government Area of Anambra State.
According to a statement from the state police command’s Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Haruna Mohammed, Police patrol teams led by the Nnewi Divisional Police Officer (Central Police Station) and other sister security agencies rushed to the scene immediately they were alerted.
They quickly cordoned off the Area and diverted traffic to prevent calamity and looters taking advantage of the situation to loot. The fire service personnel equally responded and sprayed the unfortunate truck and the drainages with chemicals to prevent fire outbreak.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the truck, one Pedro Ojugbeli, aged 39 years from Delta State lost control and fell on reaching the Traffic Light junction due to what was suspected to be brake malfunction while trying to negotiate the junction. The content of the trailer spilled in and through the drainage for a distance.
According to Haruna, the situation was quickly brought under control, and no life was lost and no injury sustained while effort was on to transfer the contents and clear obstructions in order to enable free flow of traffic in the area.