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Nine dead in Lagos after tanker explodes on busy road – VIDEO

Tragedy struck Nigeria on Thursday evening when an oil tanker exploded during rush hour traffic and killed at least nine people after their cars caught fire.

Five others were injured in the incident where 54 cars were reduced to shells, according to CNN.

The tanker reportedly rammed a passenger car and caught fire on a busy bridge about 5pm on the Lagos Ibadan Expressway.

“We are still battling this fire, and rescue teams are trying to access the bridge. Many people are trapped in the fire as we speak,” Adesina Tiamiyu, who heads the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, told CNN.

Oludare Adodo, a witness, said he was crossing the bridge on a commercial bus when its driver suddenly stopped and told passengers there had been an accident involving a toppled tanker.

“Petrol started leaking. A bus ran into it. The fire hadn’t started then a car ran into the bus which caused the fuel to ignite. Suddenly I heard a loud ‘blam!'” he said.

“In the distance, I could see several vehicles trying to maneuver and turn back on the road,” he said. “Some folks were abandoning their cars and running, and those closest to the tanker were simply merged into a wall of red.”

Adodo added that people stampeded out of their cars after seeing the flames.

“People at the front started scrambling to get out,” Adodo said told CNN. “The conductor was gone in a jiffy. Those in the middle started climbing through the windows.”