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Fuel Truck Fire Kills 8 in Nigeria


A tanker truck carrying gasoline rolled over and exploded on a busy highway in Nigeria's main city, Lagos. Gilbert da Costa in Abuja reports at least eight people were killed and several others suffered severe burns.

Residents of Iganmu, in Lagos, awoke to a loud explosion and fire. According to Lagos police spokesman, Frank Mba, two fuel tankers were involved in the accident.

"There was an accident this morning. At about 5:00 am, a petrol tanker driving towards Iganmu had an accident and fell off. And of course the petroleum products spilled off and along the line it caught fire. Unfortunately, another petrol tanker ran towards that direction and also got engulfed in flames. At the end of the whole thing we had eight people confirmed dead, nine injured, about eight vehicles, including the two tankers burnt and nine shops along the roadside burnt," said Mba.

Hundreds of commuters were stranded for hours as firefighters battled to contain the blaze, forcing the closure of a busy road that leads into central Lagos.

Mba says the fire was extinguished several hours later and an investigation has begun.

Lagos, Nigeria's largest commercial center of more than 10 million people has been hit by tragic incidents in recent months.

Last October, a fuel truck caught fire in the city, killing nine people and leaving several people with serious burns.