Apocalypse! · Dozens die in Lagos pipeline explosion · A tragedy, says Buhari · NPPC fingers gas truck
Dozens have been confirmed dead in an early morning Sunday petroleum pipeline explosion that rocked some parts of Lagos.
The explosion which occurred at Abule Ado in Amuwo Odofin local government area was felt in places like Amuwo Odofin, Surulere,
As at past 8pm on Sunday, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, as saying that no less than 15 corpses, including a family of four, were recovered from the scene of the explosion.
Ibrahim Farinloye, acting coordinator of NEMA in Lagos, said that a couple and their two sons were among those who died in the explosion.
Rev. Sr. Henrietta Alokha, Principal of Bethlehem Girls College, Abúlé Ado, also died in the pipeline explosion after rescuing many of students in the Catholic school.
It was learnt that the ceiling of one of the hostels caved in on her after her valiant rescue of her students.
The students, about 60, who sustained various degrees of injuries were taken to the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Satellite town.
Farinloye said over 50 buildings, including Bethlehem Girls College and a popular hotel, were damaged in the explosion.
“The resulting fire later spread to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) oil pipeline passing through the area even though the pipeline has been shut down as a precautionary measure,” he said.
“The fire was eventually extinguished about 3.30p through the combined efforts of officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service and Nigerian Navy Fire Tender.”
Also, Oladele Daji, staff officer, Western Naval Command, told reporters that the students were stabilised at the Navy Hospital, adding that those who have fully recovered would be discharged soon.
On his part, Olufemi Oke-Osayintolu, director-general, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, said the government would carry out a thorough investigation to unravel the cause of the explosion.
“Our advice to people is that there is no need to panic. We are on top of the situation and the fire has been put out through collaboration by the various agencies,” he said.
“We can neither smell gas nor petrol, we can’t really say this is what led to the fire. We are still waiting for the outcome of the result to know the cause of the fire outbreak.”
Abayomi Abeyi, one of the victims, said his building was severely damaged while his wife sustained injuries from the explosion.
Abeyi, who is the chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, Mile 2, Amuwo Odofin branch, appealed to the Lagos state Government to come to the aid of the victims of the unfortunate incident.
A medical doctor, Mrs. Chikaodi Chukukere Egbujor, recounting her ordeal in her Facebook page said, "My ceiling came off and hit me while falling. I'm currently receiving treatment for pains around my neck but I can't help but thank God for preserving my life. A lot of people were affected especially children.
“It is such a sad day for us."
President Muhammadu Buhari in a message on the incident described it as a tragedy, while consoling with the families and victims of the explosion.
In a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Buhari said: "I have received with sadness the news of this unfortunate incident which caused loss of lives and property.
"A misfortune of whatever scale anywhere is a tragedy to the country, and while the NNPC makes efforts to determine the cause of the incident, I send my deepest and profound sympathises to the victims, their families, government and people of Lagos State."
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, who immediately flew down to Lagos for an on the spot assessment blamed right of way, ROW, encroachment by gas handling vendors and construction of houses enabled the explosion and aggravated the impact.
Kyari said the oil company was working with LASG and security agencies to clear the ROW.
“Explosions caused by spark that ignited fire from extensively charged atmosphere that emanated from gas cylinder leakages,” Kyari said.
He expressed his sympathy “with the people and government of Lagos on the loss of lives and property. Deeply appreciate the timely response and intervention of the men of fire services, security agencies, the Red cross and other stakeholders.”
© 2015 The Abuja Inquirer | Newspaper. Designed by G E Springfield