Metro

Survivor recounts how he escaped being burnt in Abeokuta tanker explosion

OGUN, Nigeria – The tanker explosion which rocked Abeokuta on Tuesday killed no fewer than three persons and destroyed property worth millions of Naira.

Aside from those who were burnt beyond recognition, about six others who sustained serious injuries are currently receiving medical attention in various hospitals.

However, there are individuals who narrowly escaped death and injuries during the fire incident, though their vehicles, motorbikes, and valuables were destroyed.

One of such persons is Samuel Taiwo, a civil servant at the Ogun State Ministry of Housing.

Taiwo was driving to work alongside his friend, Yekinni Owoduni of the Ministry of Works, when the tanker exploded.

According to him, the two of them were once officers of the Ogun State Fire Service before their inter-cadre transfer to the various Ministries.

Riding a Gulf car, Taiwo revealed how the tanker descended from the new Kuto flyover and skidded to the other lane, before it burst into flames.

“On Tuesday morning, around 8:10am, my friend and I were riding to our offices at Okemosan when this ugly incident happened.

“When we were moving towards the bridge, we observed that the tanker driver was giving signs that there was a problem like there was a brake failure.

“Suddenly, it moved towards our lane. Maybe he thought that would reduce the speed of the vehicle. But it veered off its lane to the other side. At this stage, the driver had lost total control of the truck.

“It hit the vehicles moving ahead of us and got all our vehicles clustered together before it later fell on some of the cars. It was a very terrible experience. It was like a movie scene. Everything happened so fast that we didn’t know what to do.

“Immediately it fell, the tanker exploded. Because we have fire fighting experience, my friend and I made use of what we have learnt as fire officers.

“When the tanker exploded, we bent down to avoid the first heavy wave of the explosion. After that, we forced the car doors open and we ran out to safety,” Taiwo recounted, praising God.

In his words, Owodunni thanked God for giving him and his friend another chance to live again.

“It was God that saved us, we would have died. We thank God because he gave us the opportunity to live again. If not, I would have died before my coming 40th birthday.

“All other cars that were in front of us caught fire. Some of the occupants could not come out. They died there. We were only lucky. We thank God.

“We lost our car, we lost our phones and other items in the car, but these cannot be compared to human lives.

“May the souls of the dead ones rest in peace and may God put an end to similar incidents in Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole,” Owodunni prayed.

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