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Tragedy as nine die, others injured in Kano gas explosion

By Murtala Adewale and Ahmad Muhammad (Kano) and Matthew Ogune, and Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja)
18 May 2022   |   4:05 am
It was a tragic moment yesterday, when a gas cylinder exploded at Aba Road in Sabon Gari area of Kano State and sent residents scampering to safety.

Humanitarian Minister mourns, NNPP urges action against inflammable materials near schools

It was a tragic moment yesterday, when a gas cylinder exploded at Aba Road in Sabon Gari area of Kano State and sent residents scampering to safety.

Nine people were confirmed dead, while others sustained injuries in the incident.

The Guardian gathered that the incident occurred at a welding workshop owned by a 25 -year man, where a welding cylinder, carbide and other welding items were recovered from the scene of the blast.

The Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Ahmed, who confirmed the figure said, nine dead bodies had so far recovered from the rubble of a storey building, which collapsed after the explosion.

Although the DG did not give reasons for the cause of the incident, he told newsmen that NEMA has mobilised excavators to facilitate effective rescue operations at the site.

He assured that the NEMA team would remain at the site to ensure complete removal of the rubbles to retrieve all trapped persons, while working together with security agencies and other response organisations present at the location.

“Nine dead bodies have been recovered so far from the rubble of a collapsed building, beside a primary school following the explosions from a gas cylinder at Aba Road in Sabon Gari area of Kano.

“NEMA is presently coordinating the rescue operations involving members, Nigerian Red Cross, military, the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Kano SEMA,” he said.

But the state government in a statement released by  the Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba,  said five  corpses were recovered from the scene of the gas explosion.

Kano State Commissioner of Police, Ismaila Dikko, who visited the scene of the explosion, said four people died from the collapsed building.

He confirmed that normalcy has since returned to Sabon Gari community as residents have resumed their lawful business as against the pandemonium generated by the unfortunate incident.

Earlier, some of the youths had attacked soldiers with stones, but the situation was brought under control.

Security agents fired several shots into the air to disperse the crowd.

It was gathered that while rescue efforts were going on, some hoodlums started using the ensuing commotion to break into shops and houses.

MEANWHILE, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has expressed shock at the explosion.

The Minister also commiserated with the families of the victims and the Kano state government over the tragedy, describing it as painful and calamitous.

She said:  “This is a tragedy. A gas explosion, a collapsed building, death of many victims and persons still trapped in the rubbles… this is a very sad incident. I sympathise with the families of the dead and the government of Kano state.

“The spate of explosions in the country recently is alarming and we call on the appropriate authorities to do something quickly to stop further explosions and building collapse in the country.”

ALSO, New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has urged government at all levels not to permit those dealing with combustible and inflammable materials to operate near schools.

The advice came following the gas cylinder explosion at Sabon Gari area of Kano State on Tuesday in which four persons died and many injured.

National Publicity Secretary of NNPP, Agbo Major, in a statement, urged security agents and relevant government agencies to ensure that those trapped in the debris of the collapsed buildings are rescued and receive adequate medical treatment.

“The traumatised schoolchildren should also receive proper medical care. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this deadly explosion.

“Kano State Government, indeed, governments at all levels in Nigeria should ensure that those dealing with combustible and inflammable materials are not permitted to operate near schools to avoid a recurrence of this tragedy.

“The safety of all Nigerians should be a priority in considering business premises permits and approving schools. This is in tandem with Section 14(2) b of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, amended, which provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Nigerians expect dividends of democracy not carnage, “ the party said.

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