Suspected Fulani herdsmen on Saturday morning attacked Lagos state emergency team deployed to tackle the tanker explosion that occurred at the Kara axis of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintiolu disclosed this in a statement.
The fire led to an explosion after a petrol tanker containing 45,000 litres of fuel overturned.
“The joint team (Lagos Fire and LASEMA) was waylaid on arrival by a group of herders believed to be Fulani boys brandishing dangerous weapons and was forced to seek extra police cover from the Isheri Police Station.
“The operation commenced with police protection until the group of assailants grew larger and caused significant damage to vehicles and threat to the lives of our personnel,” the LASEMA DG said.
Oke-Osanyintolu noted, “It is of note that this attack is part of a very worrisome trend of first responders being attacked in the course of their duties.”
Initially forced to abandon the rescue operations, the agency and responders, escorted by security reinforcements, were able to return to the scene and contain the fire.
The post-disaster assessment, he said, included: “Two fatalities (driver of tanker and motor boy), 10 casualties who received on the spot treatment. 23 vehicles affected including 1 tanker containing the 45000 litres of petrol,1 luxurious passenger bus two articulated vehicles and 19 cars.”
He added that the rescue operation was completed and normal traffic flow restored.
Oke-Osanyintolu warned against further attacks on emergency responders.