Fuel tankers ablaze in Nigeria pile-up

2010-09-05 21:59

Lagos - More than a dozen vehicles including three fuel tankers and two mini-buses caught fire on Sunday in a pile-up on a Nigerian highway, the site of a deadly multi-car crash three weeks ago, an AFP photographer reported.

Police confirmed the crash saying it involved 12 cars, among them one tanker laden with petrol.

"It (the tanker) lost control at Kara, caught fire and affected other vehicles," Olumuyiwa Adejobi, police spokesperson for the Ogun state, which neighbours Lagos, told AFP

Firefighters were battling to contain the inferno which engulfed the dozen vehicles in which an unknown number of people were trapped.

"They are still trying to quench the fire as we speak and there is no movement on the road," he said.

No death toll was immediately available.

The accident took place along the Lagos-Ibadan highway, where an accident involving 20 cars claimed 18 lives on August 15.

Highways in and around Lagos, which rivals Cairo as Africa's biggest city with a population of approximately 15 million, are usually jammed and chaotic.

The road where the accident occurred is often busy on Sundays due to a large number of evangelical mega-churches in the area.

More than 17 000 people died in about 31 000 road accidents across Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, between 2007 and 2009, according to the state-run road safety agency.