An explosion killed at least 17 people on Friday in Nigeria’s southwestern Ogun state, after a vehicle collided with a fuel tanker on a busy highway, emergency services said.
Crashes involving fuel tankers are frequent in Nigeria where roads can be poorly maintained and residents try to siphon off oil or petrol after such accidents.
“There was a clash between a vehicle and a fuel tanker and it caused an explosion,” Saheed Akiode, local coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency told AFP.
“We have 17 people now that have lost their lives,” said Akiode, adding the death toll could rise, and that an unspecified number were taken to hospital.
The incident happened, he said, on the Ishara Bridge along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, a major route into the country’s biggest city.
Fire services and other agencies were on the ground to restore normal traffic, Akiode said.
Last June, five people died and 13 others were injured in Lagos when a tanker exploded because of a gas leakage.
In April, 12 people were killed and dozens of houses burnt when a fuel tanker overturned, spilled its contents and caught fire in central Nigeria’s Benue state.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, imports most of the fuel it consumes and is currently experiencing a shortage, causing long queues at petrol stations.
The state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has blamed imports of adulterated petrol.