The gas explosion that rocked Abule Ado area of Lagos which left 17 persons dead and over 20 injured was caused after a Truck hit some gas cylinders in the area.
In a statement released by NNPC, it was gathered that the gas cylinders which was hit by the truck were stacked in a gas processing plant located near the corporation’s system 2B Pipeline Right of Way.
The explosion which happened around 8:30am on Sunday left over 50 buildings razed and many other properties destroyed.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency said 17 people were confirmed dead, adding that 25 were injured.
The Public Affairs Officer of the agency, Nosa Okunbor, said there was a series of explosions, which started around 9.05am.
He stated, “The incident, which recorded 17 dead and 25 injured, destroyed property estimated to worth hundreds of millions of naira, with unquantifiable devastation to other assets, as well as the environment.
“Aside these, people in their hundreds have suddenly become displaced in an incident in which two LASEMA response teams, as well as the Lagos State Government Fire Service, the Rapid Response Squad of the Nigeria Police and other first responders were in full attendance.”
While quoting the Director-General of LASEMA, Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, he said the agency could not tell the primary cause of the incident.
“While security agents are investigating the cause of the explosion, recovery and rescue activities were carried out by the Ministry of Special Duties, LASEMA, men of the Lagos State Fire Service, the Federal Fire Service Department, the Lagos State Safety Commission, LASBCA and other first responders.
“Seventeen bodies have been recovered, while 25 injured persons are being treated on site,” he added.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it recovered 15 corpses, including a family of four.
The spokesperson for NEMA South-West, Ibrahim Farinloye, said a couple and their two sons were among those who died in the explosion.
He said they were on their way to church when the incident happened.
According to him, no fewer than 60 pupils of the Bethlehem Girls College, who sustained varying degrees of injury, were taken to the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Satellite Town.
Farinloye said over 50 buildings, including the college and a popular hotel, were damaged by the explosion.
He stated, “The resulting fire later spread to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation oil pipeline passing through the area even though the pipeline has been shut down as a precautionary measure.
“The fire was eventually extinguished around 3.30pm through the combined efforts of officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service and the Nigerian Navy Fire Tender.”
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Kennie Obateru, explained that preliminary findings indicated that the impact of the explosion was so huge that it led to the collapse of nearby houses and damage to the pipeline.
The corporation’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, and other management staff of the oil firm were said to have left for Lagos on Sunday evening for an on-the-spot assessment.
Obateru stated that following the report of the explosion, the corporation halted pumping operations on the Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline, which was active at the time.
The NNPC said it had already mobilised its in-house team, consisting of health safety environment experts, medical and security personnel from its nearby Satellite Town depot in Lagos, adding that the Lagos State Fire Service was mobilised to extinguish the fire.
The corporation said more firefighting personnel and equipment were mobilised from the NNPC Mosimi area office to the scene.
It urged members of the public and residents of the affected communities to remain calm, adding that the temporary shutdown of the petroleum products pipeline would not affect the normal supply of products to Lagos and its environs.
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