Three members of the family of the traditional ruler of Ago Egun in Ipokia Local Government, Ogun State, Chief Kolade Amosun, were on Wednesday burnt to death in a midnight fire ignited by a fallen petrol tanker at Idiroko.
Amosun lost his wife, Abosede, nine-year-old Joseph and seven-year-old Serah in the inferno that engulfed his home while they were all asleep.
Doctors at the hospital in Idiroko were battling to save the life of the four-year-old last child of the family, Israel, who suffered severe burns at the time of filling in this report.
The Baale’s home and personal effects were also reduced to ashes by the inferno.
Fifteen other persons also sustained injuries as the fire razed no fewer than 10 shops and six houses in the area.
It was learnt that the tanker laden with petrol fell along the Ago Sasa Road, spilled its content and caught fire.
The source added that the tanker was on its way to a filling station to offload its contents when it fell.
Amosun said, "We had already gone to bed when it happened. A tanker was moving into a nearby filling station to offload its content when it fell and spilled its content and caught fire."
The traditional ruler, who wept profusely, lamented that he had lost his family and all that he had worked for in life in the inferno, appealing to the state government for help.
Amosun said, "I was already asleep when I heard a persistent knocking at my brother’s house and I woke up to know who could be knocking at that hour of the day. Everybody in the house was asleep.
"When I came out from my house to cross the street, I discovered that I was walking on wet ground and pool of liquid substance were flowing freely into the street as if it had rained. That same time, I heard that a tanker had fallen in the street.
"So, a woman raised the alarm warning everybody to switch off the light and engine, so I walked back to my house, woke up my household – my wife, my three children and brothers – so that we could escape.
"But before we could step out of the house, I heard a deafening explosion, then huge balls of fire swept into my house and burnt it. My wife, my two children were burnt to death. My last-born was also burnt, but he is lying critically ill at the hospital. "All my earnings, my wife and two children have gone. Nigerians should come to my aid, I’m finished."
Confirming the incident, the Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in the area, Irunoje Abiodun, alleged that the tanker belong to smugglers, who were trying to use it to ferry fuel across the country’s border with Benin.
Abiodun added that the tanker, marked LAGOS AAA 36 XA, lost control around the area and in the process, rammed into two other tankers, summersaulted and caught fire.