Five persons are feared dead in a gas explosion that occurred at Ojekunle Street, Ladipo, Mushin area of Lagos on Tuesday morning, Ibrahim Farinloye, the South-west coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has said.
Mr Farinloye said one female and three male bodies have been recovered. He added that a 10-year-old, who was trapped in the explosion, died on the way to the hospital.
The fire has been put out and rescue operations are ongoing.
How it happened
According to a statement from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the gas ignited and exploded in an “open land with shanties and shops where gas cylinders are stacked.”
Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the director-general of the agency, appealed to all residents in the area to remain calm.
The Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odunmosu, while addressing journalists at the scene, said the unfortunate accident was ignited by a phone call.
He said one of the casualties was making a telephone call close to one of the gas cylinders.
“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.
Also, a witness, who identified himself as Lekan, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was at home when he heard the blast.
“I was at home around 8 a.m. when I heard the explosion, the second street to this place. We thought it was the powerline. 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.
“I saw one of the affected persons, he said three of his friends were dead.”
Near the scene, a woman was seen crying and wouldn’t speak to journalists.
A man rushed to meet an official to complain that an injured person had been left unattended at a nearby hospital. Immediately, an official of the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS) alongside the relative of the injured person went to the hospital in an ambulance.
The scene has been cordoned off restricting vehicular movement except for the emergency vehicles.