Over 300 tanker accidents were recorded in Lagos last year and 114 major disasters attended to between December and yesterday, Commissioner for Special Duties, Tayo Bamgbose-Martins said on Monday.
He made the disclosure during the LASEMA road traffic accident simulation held at the Cappa Response Unit, Oshodi.
The Nation reports that at pump price of N170/litre by 33,000 litres, an estimated N1,683,000,000 were lost to the 300 tanker accidents.
According to the Commissioner, the state government was striving to minimise loss of life and property during emergencies, adding that the simulation was one of such ways to sharpen the skills of rescuers.
“In 2020 we had over 300 tanker accidents. Between December and now LASEMA has responded to 114 major emergencies saving lives and billions of naira worth of properties.
“While some were accidental, others could have been avoided with better awareness. These incidents have not only affected the state as a whole but individual households and businesses experiencing loss of income,” he said.
While highlighting actions taken by the government including the purchase of some light duty equipment for LASEMA, Bamgbose-Martins said they were all geared towards ensuring quicker response to all types of emergencies.
“Disaster prevention and management is a top priority of this administration and I can say with confidence and gratitude, that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has always supported the ministry and all the relevant agencies everytime we call on his assistance.
“Lagos is densely populated and being the economic hub of Nigeria has made Lagos prone to disasters of varying causes ranging from global incidences to local industrial activities. The state has witnessed a series of accidents, flooding, gas explosions, fire outbreaks, pipeline vandalism and other mishaps.
“However, I am glad to say, that LASEMA and our sister agencies have lived up to the expectation that borne their existence. Loss of lives has been prevented, and the effect of many disasters mitigated with their professional handling of such unfortunate events.
“This simulation exercise, the first this year, is to further prepare our agencies for better disaster
management and also show the level of preparedness of our agencies, stimulating our responders for any event that will need their expertise,” he said.
Flagging off the simulation, wife of the Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said Lagos was extremely vulnerable to a high incidence of disasters and emergencies.
She said it was the responsibility of a caring government to engage in active Disaster Risk Reduction efforts by aligning the skillset and competencies of its staff and stakeholders to build the capacity of Lagosians from the grassroots level up, through the establishment of Local Emergency Management Committees, LEMCs, in the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, in the state.
Earlier, Director General (DG) LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said the simulation was a demonstration of the agency’s new responsiveness to emergency situations.
Oke-Osanyintolu said from statistics available to LASEMA, casualties recorded in disasters last year were lower compared to 2019 and 2018, attributing the lower human casualties to improved rescue time and availability of latest equipment.
“We have been able to manage all forms of disaster under the watch of Governor Sanwo-Olu…This is a simulation of an accident involving mass casualties. You can see that all the responders are working together with each focusing on their core areas of competence.
“We have helicopters, bikes, towing vehicles…These are the tools that we use to ensure we manage the golden hour.
“The state keeps on carrying a lot of sensitization and advocacy that is why we are going to put more emphasis on enforcement in 2021. We will ensure that our enforcement is very efficient and effective. We are collaborating with the ministry of justice, it is the orientation of our people that needs to be changed,” he said.
There was panic at a filling station in Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra state following a fire outbreak ignited by a petrol tanker.
The tanker was reportedly offloading kerosene at the station located at a roundabout in the area when it suddenly went up in flames
The Nation gathered that no casualty was recorded in the incident, but the truck was gutted by fire while part of the filling station was razed.
Confirming the incident, Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed said the fire was extinguished and investigation commenced to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.
He said, “On 21/2/2021 at about 3:pm, there was a fire outbreak at Daymaker filling station Aguleri roundabout in Anambra East LGA of Anambra State.
“The fire allegedly emanated from the tanker laden with DPK (Kerosene) inside the filling station while discharging its content. As a result,the truck was gutted by fire which razed down part of the filling station.
“Police operatives led by DPO Otoucha Division, CSP Etah Baba and other Sister Security Agencies quickly mobilised to the scene and cordoned off the Area to prevent looting and further catastrophe.
“The Commissioner of Police, Monday Bala Kuryas appealed to filling station owners to always apply safety precaution while offloading fuel in order to avert similar ugly incidents which could also lead to loss of lives and injuries especially during harmattan periods.”
Reacting, Senior Special Adviser to the state Governor on Nupeng Petroleum and Union Matters, Hon Comr Peter Nwosu urged the public not to panic over the incident, assuring that the trucks procured for the State Fire Service had been dutifully utilised in curtailing the devastating effect of the inferno.