By Uche Amunike
The Lagos gas explosion that took place at Ojekunle Street in the Ladipo area of Mushin, Lagos on Tuesday has left five people dead and several others wounded, says the South West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
According to him, one female and three male bodies have so far been recovered, while a 10year old boy who was trapped in the explosion died on the way to the hospital.
A statement from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) clarified that the cause of the Lagos gas explosion was that gas ignited and exploded in an open land with shanties and shops where gas cylinders were stacked.
Director-General of the agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu made an appeal to residents in the area to be calm as the situation was already under control.
On his part, the Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu informed Newsmen that the Lagos gas explosion was caused by a phone call. According to him one of the casualties was making a telephone call close to one of the gas cylinders and it triggered the explosion.
Hear him: ‘It is completely avoidable, human negligence led to it. From what I have seen there, from what I have heard, the thing blew off, someone was trying to refill the gas cylinder as well as making a call,’ Mr Odumosu said.
Another eyewitness who called himself Lekan said he was at home when the incident happened but he thought it was the power line.
His words: ‘I was at home around 8 a.m. when I heard the explosion, the second street to this place. We thought it was the power line. A body part, a hand, flew to our street. Also when I got here, I started seeing different body parts on the floor’, he said.
Not less than 15 vehicles where destroyed at the Lagos gas explosion, as well as houses in the area.
The workshop where the explosion took place was a haven for mechanics, panel beaters, gas retailers and some other traders. A typical place where beehive of activities go on constantly.
The Lagos gas explosion was triggered by a phone call received by a customer while gas was being dispensed. Reports say that a gas retailer simply called Sodiq was dispensing gas from a cylinder to another customer. At the same time, a woman identified as Mama Emma was frying puff-puff around 7:30 a.m.
It was a sorry sight as Sodiq, the customer, Mama Emma and two others were burnt to death
Traders at the scene of the explosion expressed their pain at the manner in which the gas retailer died, saying that he did not deserve to die in such a gruesome manner.
Some vehicles were buried in the rubble from the blast, while sheds used by mechanics were uprooted and littered all over the place.
One of the mechanics whose workshop was on the place where the explosion took place said that his Toyota Highlander and four other cars belonging to his customers were also affected. He was filled with gratitude for his life.
Hear him: ‘I thank God for the preservation of my life. I had a vehicle in my workshop when the explosion happened and four others belonging to my customers. The vehicles were for repairs, but I have informed their owners and they have asked me to send photos of the damage.’
He noted that one of his apprentices was severely injured, but had been rushed to a nearby hospital.