A petrol tanker ignited fire on Friday, December 18, 2020, at Alesinloye-Iyaganku intersection in Ibadan, Oyo State, injuring the driver.
The blaze was ignited about an hour after the petrol tanker fell into a wide ditch beside the road at the junction, with the petrol gushing out of it.
Eyewitnesses at the scene told Thenewsbearer that the tanker fell at about 12 noon.
According to a source, which craved anonymity, a Lexus SUV experienced overheating, breaking down on the road.
This made other vehicles to be passing on its left side, while it was being attended to.
But it was learnt the tanker driver maneuvered his way on the bumpy right side of the broken-down vehicle, resulting in falling into a ditch.
The driver was said to have been injured, and was alleged to be reeking of alcohol, as the engine of the vehicle kept running.
Petrol gushing out of the tanker was said to have passed behind a Total petrol station, which was situated beside where the tanker fell, to the back of a church hundreds of metres away.
Sources further told Reporters At Large that police officers and men rushed to the scene to save the driver, taking him to a hospital for medical attention.
The police also made calls to government and private fire services, which came and put chemicals around the tanker to prevent it from catching fire.
Men of the Oyo State fire services were also said to have switched off the ignition and removed the vehicle’s battery to prevent fire outbreak.
Things however took a new turn about an hour after the accident, when fire erupted from the back of the church, and spread quickly to the tanker, causing explosions.
As the fire blazed, fire fighters were seen working to control its spread to the petrol station.
However, several property, including furniture showroom, offices and shops, worth several millions of Naira, were consumed by the fire.
The initial accident and subsequent fire outbreak caused traffic gridlock, as the linking roads were in total lockdown for hours, with commuters stuck.
It was further learnt that the driver was smuggled out of the hospital by the police, out of fear of his being attacked by a mob, which believed that his recklessness led to the accident.
A police source however said that the driver denied consuming alcohol, claiming that he was trying to avoid a vehicle when he lost balance.
Confirming the story, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Olugbenga Fadeyi said that as at the time of writing this story, no casualty had been recorded in the incident.
He, however, said that a lot of property was damaged by the tanker blaze.
Also speaking, the Director of Operations, Oyo State Fire Services, Engr Ismail Adeleke said that firefighters left the scene of the outbreak at 11:45p.m., after ensuring that the fire was put out and there was no radiation around that could re-ignite the fire.
Engr. Adeleke said further that fire service officials noted the proximity of a cassava processing unit about two kilometres away, towards which petrol had flowed.
He said that this prompted the protection of the perimetre surrounding the area by fire servicemen.