The Lagos State government said the 9 badly burnt bodies of the last week fire incident in Otedola bridge will not be released until DNA test is carried out on them to determine their real identity.
This was disclosed in a press conference to give an update about the incident.
The State’s Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson, said altogether, 9 people passed on at the incident and they were all burnt beyond recognition.
“We have set up a helpline at LASEMA to try and open a communication channel with members of the public and with family members of the victims. It is important that DNA is conducted otherwise we would end up giving the wrong bodies to some families to go and inter and that would become another issue entirely”
According to him, this kind of situation really calls for patience and understanding on the part of members of the public and most especially families of victim.
He said although the State sympathise with the families, but things still have to be done professionally.
Giving update on the accident, Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Seye Oladejo said out of the four injured persons that were taken away from the scene, one died while government is taking full responsibility for the treatment of others.
He refuted the allegations that some victims were rejected by the General Hospital in Surulere, saying that the victims were only taken to LASUTH, Ikeja and Burns and Trauma Centre in Gbagada.
The State is however taking measures to prevent such incident again.
Part of the measures is the restriction placed on the movement of such vehicles to some designated routes.
The government also said it was now mandatory for all articulated trucks coming into Lagos to obtain the Ministry of Transportation’s Road Worthiness Certificate at any of the designated centres within the next 30 days.
Mr. Ladi Lawanson, said the decision became necessary following preliminary investigations into the incident which revealed a combination of vehicular defect and human errors.
“As an immediate response to the latest incident, the Lagos State Government hereby announces the following measures: Fuel tankers are hereby directed to ply the designated trailer route, that is, Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway via Ogudu to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“All Tankers and containers coming into Lagos State from henceforth are directed to obtain the Ministry of Transportation Certificate of Road Worthiness at any of or centres within the next 30 days.
Lawanson, who addressed the briefing alongside heads of government agencies and the stakeholders, said preliminary investigation revealed that the affected tanker which exploded was registered in Nasarawa Local Government, Kano State with registration number NSR 888 YC, and had changed ownership 13 times since purchase.
“It (the tanker) was manufactured in 1999 by Mack Trucks Inc at its assembly plant in Winnsboro, United States. This truck was designed as a 14,959kg (approximately 15 ton) drilling rig with low bed, but it was converted in Nigeria from a drilling rig to fuel tank carrier to carry 30 tonnes.
“From this preliminary investigation, the truck should not have been loaded to the weight of 30 tonnes, which is twice its pulling capacity,” the Commissioner said, adding that further investigation into the current ownership of the tanker and other related details were progressing.
He, however, disclosed that the State Government was already exploring alternative modes of transportation of petroleum products to separate passenger traffic from cargo movements within the metropolis in the interest of the public safety and order.
He also said that government, in partnership with all the stakeholders, would set up joint-enforcement of the operating laws, while barriers would be installed on bridges in Lagos to prevent articulated trucks including Ojuelegba, Mobolaji Bank Anthony, Ekodeso, Abule-Egba, Lekki-Ajah, among others.
Besides, the Commissioner dismissed insinuation alleging that the integrity of Otedola Bridge had been compromised following the incident, saying there was no iota of truth in such, while government would soon fix the damaged section of the road.
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