Three feared dead, over 30 injured in Lagos gas explosion
Barely a day after a tanker explosion in Kogi State, residents of Cele bus stop on Ajuwon Road, Grailand, in Iju Ishaga, a sloppy community tucked between Lagos and Ogun borders were yesterday thrown into confusion following an explosion that rocked the community, which left many injured, houses shaken and vehicles parked on the streets damaged.
At least, three persons were feared dead in the resultant inferno and about 30 persons were injured after a gas tanker exploded about 3:05p.m. which caused panic as residents and commuters scampered for safety.
According to the South West coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, 16 vehicles, two tricycles, two gas tankers, S&Y Event Centre and a church building were affected.
Farinloye said that a block industry and attached office, one cement store, a sawmill, several stores where building materials were sold, were also affected by the blast.
The NEMA boss stated that the tanker was trying to enter a gas plant at Iju when it exploded. “Fifteen persons were admitted at Iju Waterworks Clinic, two referred to General Hospital, three on critical observation and ten are being treated presently,” Farinloye said.
As at time of writing this report, thick smoke was still billowing in the area, with rescue operators still battling to put out the raging fire.
According to residents, the tanker explosion affected a nearby gas station, which instantly triggered an inferno affecting an adjoining plank market. Rescue operation didn’t commence until over 30 minutes after the inferno started. At the time of filing this report, a plank market and an event centre have been completely burnt to ruins.
An eyewitness, Ikechukwu, said: “We just heard a loud sound around 03:30p.m. and we suddenly began to see smoke. The explosion is massive and we are not sure of the casualties, but many people are injured.”
Another eyewitness, Chioye Amagadi, who was still smarting from the shock of the explosion, said: “I was driving along Balogun/ Cele bus stop when I heard the most deafening sound in my entire life. It was followed by a mad rush from a filling station. I could not reverse because there were other vehicles behind. The next thing we saw was thick smoke, which was accompanied by balls of fire.
“At this point, everyone started running. I abandoned my vehicle and fled. Six persons were brought out unconscious before the arrival of rescue workers. But three of them stopped breathing. A nurse who was on her way to work said they were dead but however told us to rush them to the hospital. So many people were injured. Some had burns while some sustained injuries as a result of the stampede”.
Preliminary investigation by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) also revealed that the gas tanker was involved in a lone accident, which exploded. A situation report by LASEMA’s Head of Public Affairs, Nosa Okunbor, said: “On arrival at the scene it was observed that there was a gas explosion at the aforementioned address.
“Further investigation revealed that the truck conveying gasoline had a lone accident and exploded. The impact of the explosion led to fire at adjoining buildings and many vehicles were burnt. Some persons were injured and have been taken to the nearest hospital for treatment. The inferno is being tackled head-on by the combined efforts of the LASEMA Response Team, LRU Fire, LASG Fire Service, Nigeria Police Force and NSCDC.”