An accident involving four vehicles on Wednesday locked down the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway from Arepo Prayer City to Mowe in Ogun.
The accident which occurred late on Tuesday on the outbound lane of the expressway at the Kara Market close to the Prayer City Gate, forced Lagos inbound and outbound vehicles to drive against traffic.
Mr Olusola Ojuawo, the Unit Commander-in-charge of Mowe-Ibafo Unit of the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), confirmed the accident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Ojuawo, however, said that he had no records of any casualties from the accident and blamed the lock-down on the drivers driving against traffic because of the accident.
He said that the accident happened at about 11 p.m., but his office got the information at 3 a.m. and immediately rushed to the scene, adding that they had been there since then.
NAN observed that the situation had become so chaotic, forcing the queue of the outbound vehicles to stretch to OPIC Plaza end of the Long Bridge, close to Berger Bus Stop in Lagos.
The vehicles on the queue were mostly articulated ones that ought to have travelled during the night.
Also, the queue on the Lagos inbound lane had reached Mowe.
NAN reports that workers and businessmen living in Mowe, Ibafo, Asese, Arepo were seen trekking because there were no commercial buses to take them to Lagos.
Also, NAN observed that there were several others at major bus stops along the axis.
The few commercial buses and commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called “Okada’’, made brisk business by charging passengers exorbitantly.
The commercial buses charged N300 per passenger from Prayer City Gate to Berger, a journey of about 20 minutes that ordinarily cost N50 on a normal day and N100 at peak periods.
The okada riders charged between N500 and N1,000 per passenger depending on the distance the passenger wanted them to cover.
NAN also saw the charred remains of the four vehicles causing the gridlock that started before 6 a.m.
The vehicles involved in the accident are a tanker laden with petroleum product, a commercial bus, a space wagon and a car.
However, another tanker parked some metres away belonging to Oando Nigeria Plc., with number plate KMC 839XW had its cabin burnt while its tank was intact.
NAN also observed that the tank of the burnt tanker that was Lagos outbound had hit its driver’s cabin against the median around 11 p.m.
on Tuesday and its tank fell on its side across the road.
An eye witness told NAN at the scene that some people living around the spot had rushed there to scoop petrol from the tanker when it fell.
In the process it sparked leading to a fire outbreak that engulfed three other vehicles, he said.
People there were alleged to be scooping fuel from the tanker and in the process sparked, leading to fire outbreak.
Another eye witness, Mr Joseph Awo, said that several workers and businessmen and women returning home on Tuesday night and Lagos outbound travellers spent hours while the fire lasted.
“I got home around 1 a.m. this morning because our vehicle was some metres away from the scene of the accident, Awo told NAN.
NAN also reports that at about 8.30 a.m., officials of TRACE, federal Road Safety Corps and Police were removing the charred tanker from the road to allow for a free flow of traffic. (NAN)