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How gas explosion killed 5, destroyed 44 houses in Lagos

It was a tragic Thursday for many residents of Candos Road, Baruwa in Ipaja area of Lagos as five people lost their lives while houses,…

It was a tragic Thursday for many residents of Candos Road, Baruwa in Ipaja area of Lagos as five people lost their lives while houses, vehicles, school and other properties worth millions of naira were razed in an early morning gas explosion in the area.

A tanker loaded with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was about offloading at a gas station, identified as Best Roof Plant Station located in the densely populated community, when it exploded.

Huge smoke covered the area as residents scampered for safety but at the end lives and properties were lost to the explosion.

Emergency responders comprising the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the state emergency management agency (LASEMA), Lagos Fire, and security agencies were mobilized to the scene.

Five bodies were brought out of the fire while four others, including three siblings, sustained severe burns.

As at midday when the disaster had settled, preliminary assessment revealed that 44 buildings were affected including a primary school, an event centre, 89 shops, a church, a tricycle, gas tankers, 23 electric poles, two transformers and a motorcycle.

Territorial Coordinator of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, said the three siblings sustained second degree burns and were admitted to the intensive Care unit of the Gbagada General hospital.

He said 24 of the affected houses were completely burnt while 20 others were partially affected.

Although witnesses said the death toll could be as high as 15, while those injured could be well over 20, Farinloye insisted that only five persons died in the unfortunate incident.


  • How it started

The incident occurred around 5:45 am, according to the emergency agency.

It was believed that the explosion erupted from the generator house of the station as the generating set was on.

“The eruption threw the discharging tanker across the road,” said Farinloye.

It was learnt that the gas plant has about 30 metric tons of gas in the underground tank.

It dispenses gas to consumers and also loads LPG tanks from its underground tunnel.

It was gathered that the owner of the gas station fainted when he heard about the explosion.

None of the staff of the gas station could be located for comment as the premises was sealed.

Daily Trust reports that the latest explosion occurred barely two weeks after another gas explosion at Iju Ishaga rendered many people homeless while 30 were injured.

When our correspondent visited the scene, on Thursday, it was a disturbing sight as victims openly mourned the dead and wished the injured speedy recovery.

Many victims could not salvage any of their belongings as they lost all to the fire.

A resident, who identified himself as James Ononiwu blamed government for issuing license to businessmen to situate gas and fuel stations in residential areas.

He appealed to the government to assist him and other victims.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who visited the victims, warned hoodlums to stay away from the area.

This is even as the Lagos State government said it would take stiffer measures against operators of gas plants or any combustible items in the state to avoid recurrence of such disasters.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, said reports made available to him showed that the explosion that rocked Baruwa community could have been avoided if the operators of the gas plant had adhered to safety guidelines.

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