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May 20, 2011

Rare bravery Display - Man drives burning lorry for six kilometres

Punch Nigeria - The rare bravery displayed by a driver of Edewor Seafood Nigeria Limited, Mr. Edosa Idahor, could be likened to incredible roles usually played by the British film character, James Bond, as Idahor drove a burning lorry for six kilometres.

The rear tyre of the lorry with registration number EDO AK 341 UJE, burst while in motion and caught fire, but the Edo State-born driver, in an attempt to s
alvage the vehicle from being razed completely, remained in it, trying all he could to detach its head from the container.

He drove on from Berger area of Ogun State, where the tyre burst and caught fire, until where he eventually stopped at Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry area on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, even against sympathisers’ advice that he should save his life first.
Idahor, who sustained burns, to the amazement of bystanders and sympathisers, succeeded in detaching the head of the lorry from the burning container after about 40 minutes of battling the situation.
But the unnamed owner of the lorry-load of frozen fish was said to have passed out during the encounter to salvage the lorry and was rushed to an undisclosed hospital in Ibafo, Ogun State.
Idahor told PUNCH METRO that the fire started when the rear tyre burst and went into flames at Berger area of Ogun State.

He said he had to drive on because there were too many filling stations around the area where the tyre burst and that stopping the vehicle there could be very disastrous.
He said he had to drive on, even against the risk of losing his life, because he was worried about the amount of goods involved and the articulated vehicle.
He said the vehicle was coming from Idumota area of Lagos State, and was heading for Warri, Delta State.
Idahor said, “We were coming from Lagos when the tyre exploded at Berger area of Ogun State.

Immediately, it caught fire. I did not want to stop in that area because there are too many filling stations there.
“If I had stopped there, it could have been disastrous. To avoid a situation that would have a spill-over effect, I decided to drive on, even against the risk of losing my life. I thought of the goods involved, 1,500 cartons of fish and the vehicle itself, I had to drive on, at least to take it to a safer place. As you can see, I sustained injuries. The owner of the fish passed out as we battled to salvage the articulated vehicle. She has been taken to a hospital in Ibafo in Ogun State.”
But as some sympathised with the driver and praised him for his bravery, others defied the fire to steal the fish cartons of inside the container.
Our correspondent, who visited the scene of the inferno, noticed youths and women, falling over one another to steal cartons of fish.

A sympathiser, who refused to disclose his name, was perturbed at the turn of event, wondering why the crowd should be so inhuman and wicked by stealing from the burning vehicle. “We are supposed to be our brothers’ keepers, but what is happening is unimaginable. Imagine, people who are supposed to be pitied are being stolen from. This is a reflection of poverty in the land. Imagine, these same people were helping the driver to put out the fire; but the same people are now stealing the goods,” the sympathiser said.
The men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, who visited the scene, could only control traffic from degenerating, but could not prevent the crowd from ransacking the lorry.

The Unit Commander, FRSC, Mowe, Ogun State, Mr. Olalekan Morakinyo, who was disturbed by the theft, called the police to come and salvage the situation.

As at the time of leaving the scene by 4pm, the crowd was still busy stealing cartons of fish as policemen were yet to arrive. However, the men of the fire service from Ogun State were busy making frantic efforts to put out the fire on the container.