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Ikeja explosion: Lagos orders gas trucks to get road worthiness

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LASEMA


• It Is Avoidable, Says Abiodun
• Calls For Extra Safety Measures In Transporting LPG, Petroleum Products

Following the gas explosion accident that claimed five lives and 24 vehicles at OPIC Plaza, Ikeja, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has instructed all trucks conveying gases to ensure their trucks are road worthy before embarking on any journey.

This was contained in a preliminary report by the agency. It also said all commercial buildings should develop an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and Fire Preventive Plan (FPP) in case of an emergency.

Providing insight into the incident, LASEMA stated that 13 causalities with various degrees of burns were recorded at the scene of the incident; they were attended to by the Pre-hospital care unit of LRU and moved to
LASUTH and Gbagada General Hospital for further treatment.

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“Unfortunately, three adult males were further discovered dead at the incident site early hours of today, their bodies were bagged and handed over to SEHMU for transport to the morgue.

“Also, two victims died early hour, of this morning while under medical attention at LASUTH. Hence, a total of five fatalities were recorded as at the time this report was put together.”

Earlier, Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, said the gas explosion was avoidable if necessary checks had been made, reason he called for extra safety measures for the transport of liquefied petroleum gas across the country, to check incessant explosions, which had led to huge loss of lives and wanton destruction of property.

Abiodun, therefore, urged regulators in the gas and petroleum downstream sector to ensure trucks conveying petroleum products and gas are in perfect working condition.

Speaking after on-the-spot assessment of the premises of the Ogun State-owned Plaza, Abiodun, who expressed sadness over the loss of lives and destruction of property caused by the inferno, said that promotion of Liquefied Petroleum Gas for domestic use in the country shouldn’t be at the expense of the people’s lives.

“We must sit down with the management of the Department of Petroleum Resources to determine how we can introduce extra safety measures. Yes, we want to promote the penetration of LPG as against the use of kerosene, but we cannot afford to do that at the expense of the safety of human lives. So, my counterpart, Governor Jide Sanwo-Olu and I will be having this discussion very soon,” he said.

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He, however, disclosed that the collaboration between the Lagos and Ogun State governments, through the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission, would soon receive the necessary legal backing as the Attorney Generals of both states have drafted the Executive Order that would give the Commission life.

He noted that with the commission fully operational, there would be a seamless synergy between Ogun and Lagos on disaster management such as the occurrence at the OPIC Plaza, stressing “LASEMA and its counterpart in Ogun will both sit down with the Department of Petroleum Resources to determine immediate steps to be taken so as to ensure that such incidents no longer happen again.”

He commended the officials of LASEMA for their timely intervention and the Lagos State government for deploying its fire fighting and other equipment to the scene of the fire, which he said helped in reducing losses.

“I personally spoke with the Director General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) that we must sit down and think of how we can mitigate the future occurrence of incidences like this.

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“Thankfully, we have a collaboration with Lagos State, the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission and the issue of safety is also part of the responsibility of that Commission. I believe that this even will further fast track some of its responsibilities,” Abiodun added.

The governor, while commiserating with the families of the victims of the incident, noted that his administration would take toll and account of losses when it is safe, so as to estimate the total value of what had been lost in the premises.

“Thirteen people were rescued from here when the incident happened, while three casualties were immediately identified. These 13 people had various degrees of severe burns from the fire, unfortunately, from the 13 that were rescued and hospitalised at two different hospitals, we have also recorded extra five deaths, so, we have in total as at the last count, eight dead.

“The loss of vehicles at the last count was about 23 that have been burnt probably beyond repairs. I am sure that when it is safe to take toll and account of the losses, we will be able to estimate the total hi value of what has been lost in this premises,” Abiodun submitted.

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