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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Fuel Tanker Tumbles at Lagos Airport, Causes Traffic Gridlock

Fuel Tanker Tumbles at Lagos Airport, Causes Traffic Gridlock

29 Jul 2015

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 Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Chinedu Eze
Protracted traffic gridlock on Tuesday paralysed activities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos when a fuel tanker laden with 33,000 litres of Jet A1 lost grip and fell as it tried to negotiate a corner in a round-about few metres to the link road toll gate.
The tanker was taking the fuel to the international wing of the airport from Ikeja, the domestic area, but seemed overwhelmed by the weight of the fuel and when it failed to drag itself farther to its final destination, it fell.
The covers of the inlets on the top of the tanker opened and it spilled the content on the road, blocked vehicular movement and the content flowed unobtrusively to cover all the areas of the round-about.
Vehicles were immediately stopped from moving to and fro as fire fighting vehicles converged, fearing possible balls of fire emanating from the spill.
According to an eyewitness account, the tanker with the Lagos Registration number AAA 991 XQ, fell when the driver wanted to navigate the sharp bend at the round-about, adjacent to the training school of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
“The tanker was coming from Ikeja and was going to the international wing of the airport before the accident occurred around 10a.m, but tragedy was however averted due to the quick response of the fire service men from FAAN, Lagos State Fire Service, the Nigerian Police and other emergency response agencies.
The eyewitness also said the entire content of the tanker spilled on the ground, which would have caused disaster without the intervention of the emergency and rescue teams.
Shocked at the accident, the driver of the tanker was petrified and stood at one place, shocked as other vehicle users who expected heavy fire as a follow-up to the spill scampered for safety, thus causing bedlam and further worsened the traffic jam.
But there was no fire because, according to experts, aviation fuel has similar properties of kerosene so it is not highly inflammable.
In response to the blockage of the road, motorists sought alternative route through the Beesam road which is filled with pot-holes and mud, making movement excruciatingly slow, but through that road passengers and airport workers accessed the international terminal of the airport.
Speaking to journalists at the accident spot, the leader of the Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Fatai Rafiu, said that the command received a distress call on the accident at exactly 10:14 am while its team from the Mobalaji Bank Anthony Way responded almost immediately.
He explained the quick intervention of the team prevented what could have led to a huge loss of lives and property within the airport area.
On the probable cause of the accident, he said the accident might have occurred due to over-speeding on the part of the driver.
He added “With my years of experience, which is about 32 year, I can say that the accident might have occurred because of over-speeding by the driver because the accident wouldn’t have happened just like that. Maybe the driver lost the control of the speed, but I can tell you that it was not a mechanical fault.”