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Weak clutch plate, faulty brake caused FESTAC tanker explosion, 23 cars burnt

Though no life was lost, about 23 cars (20 for sale and three on the road), plus five motorcycles were on Wednesday burnt beyond repairs after a fuel-laden tanker could not ascend FESTAC Link Bridge or hold brake leading to backward movement and crash with following vehicles and bursting into flames.

Otherwise, it was massive traffic gridlock in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos State throughout yesterday as it took security and traffic officials from 12.04 PM when the incident happened till late in the night to clear the road for traffic normalcy to resume once more.

The truck was ascending the bridge from Apple Junction when it suddenly started descending due to inability to accelerate and or hold brake.

Eyewitnesses’ told Business Hilights that while descending, it crashed on three following vehicles, disengaging into two parts and going up in flames as occupants of affected vehicles escaped unhurt.

A roadside Car Mechanic, Taofik, confided in our Correspondent that “The real cause of the incident can be traced to bad clutch plate which is responsible for normal acceleration and mainly climbing up easily”.

Then on while the tanker descended after being unable to accelerate, he blamed poor braking system, saying articulated vehicles always have issues with brakes especially in the afternoon when the weather is hot.

It was not that all the vehicles were on the highway, rather majority of burnt cars were those displayed on roadside for sale.

Officials of the Federal Fire Service, Lagos State Fire Service, and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency reportedly battled to put out the fire around 2pm.

Both those that saw the accident and the LASEMA General Manager, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, said no life was lost, but a person was injured.

Tiamiyu told our correspondent that that “The inferno affected a total of 21 vehicles (18 cars and three buses) and five motorcycles”.

However, the account of the Lagos State Director of State Fire Service, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe, and witnesses were same as water tankers from the Ojo and Isolo fire stations were mobilised to the scene.

The owners of the car shop were not on hand for comments, but witnesses said the car dealers are the most hurt considering the cost of the cars burnt in the shops.