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Review your operations, guidelines to check explosions, Senate tells DPR, others

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To avert more deaths and destruction of property from explosions of trucks conveying liquefied gas, especially in Lagos, the Senate, yesterday, urged regulatory authorities to review the processes for gas operators.

Specifically, the regulatory agencies include the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), State Town Planning Authority, the Fire Service, and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

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The Senate challenged the agencies to review their operational processes, safety procedures and licensing regimes of gas business and its mode of transportation in the country.

It resolved to direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to send relief materials to affected persons and offset medical bills of hospitalised victims.

It also directed its Committees on Petroleum Downstream and Gas Resources to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the explosions with a view to preventing a reoccurrence and report back to the Senate within two weeks.

Senate resolved to write a condolence letter to the people and government of Lagos State.

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This followed a motion of urgent need to investigate recent gas explosions in Lagos West Senatorial District resulting in loss of lives and destruction of property, sponsored by Solomon Adeola Olamilekan.

Presenting his motion, he indicated that a massive gas explosion occurred at Cele Bus Stop, Iju-Ishaga in Ifako-Ijaiye Council Area of the state.

He lamented that the explosion caused serious body injuries to no fewer than 44 persons and destroyed 36 buildings including a church, an events centre, a plank market +as well as26 vehicles within 300 metres of the blast.

Olamilekan regretted that the explosion that was caused by a burst tyre igniting a gas leak of a stuck 30 ton Gas Tanker in an attempt to move from a bad portion of the road, destroyed multi-billion naira property and businesses of several Lagos residents.

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He said just about two weeks after on October 10, 2020, a similar gas explosion occurred at Candos Road, Baruwa, Ipaja-Ayobo, Alimosho Council Area when an LPG Tanker discharging gas at a plant exploded from sparks of a running power generator.

The lawmaker pointed out that in the second tragic incident, 18 persons, including a father and child were killed with scores sustaining injuries, while 25 houses and 16 shops filled with goods worth millions of naira were burnt.

He said the Tanker Owners Association in Nigeria have estimated that over 80 per cent of all articulated vehicles involved in the incidents lacked safety protocols required for their operations and plying public roads.

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He also cited similar explosions in Abule-Egba (2016, 2018, and 2019), Ijegun, Ile-Epo, Oke-Odo, and Abule-Ado (2020).

“Nigerians living and doing legitimate businesses in the densely populated senatorial district now live in fear of not only losing their lives or those of their loved ones from the frequent explosions but also their property and investments,” he added.
 
He commended the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the state government Federal Fire Services, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), and Nigerians for their roles in putting out the eruptions, mitigating their spread, and rescuing the victims.

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