Lagos (AFP) – A fuel truck exploded in Nigeria’s commercial megacity Lagos on Thursday killing nine people in a huge blaze, state emergency officials told AFP.
Suleiman Yakubu of the National Emergency Management Agency said the death toll was “nine so far” but that “more people are coming to identify vehicles”.
“Before the fire was contained it spread like wildfire,” he added.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement he was “very sad to learn of the tragic loss of lives”.
“Sadly, this seems to be one of the greatest tragedies we have seen in recent times,” he said.
At least 54 vehicles were gutted in the flames, said Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Corps in a statement posted on Twitter.
Fuel explosions are common in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, where it is transported on badly-maintained roads by trucks in a poor state of repair.
“We have to find ways of ensuring that tankers are driven by drivers who have more responsibility,” said Lagos state spokesman Kehinde Bamigbetan.
“We need to work more with federal agencies so we don’t have these crises all the time.”