…Victims Recount Losses
Another explosion rocked the city of Lagos early morning on Thursday, October 8, resulting in the death of over four people and the demolition of 25 buildings.
The explosion was reported to have started from a gas station belonging to Best Roof Cooking Gas in Baruwa area of Lagos State.
According to Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA), the gas explosion “has claimed eight lives, razed 25 houses (bungalows) and 16 lock-up shops.”
The buildings affected include a storey building housing one school, one hotel, one creative center and a residential building and adjoining shops.
The gas explosion also destroyed one gas truck, pickup van and tricycle.
Some victims of the gas explosion have bemoaned the damages that the explosion caused them.
A resident of one the houses that were near the gas station, Mojeed Taiwo reportedly said he found out about the gas leakage when he stepped out to use the toilet around 4 a.m.
According to him, “I looked around and saw that everywhere was filled with gas fumes. I ran back inside to raise alarm and call everybody to move out of the house because I didn’t know what could happen.”
“We thank God that a lot of people were saved but I lost my mother to the fire. All of us standing here don’t have any clothes anymore but we thank God for our lives.”
Muhideen Oparinola, who is a barber and the treasurer of a cooperative society, condemned the late response of the fire service department, saying they could have salvaged a lot of properties if they had arrived earlier.
“Cooperative money has burnt with my shop,” he lamented.
“I withdrew the money yesterday and kept it in my shop so I could deliver at the meeting later today. The money was over N300, 000. Everything got burnt with my personal money. I almost got burnt to death too because I sleep in my shop. It was the spirit of God that woke me up early so I decided to go and call for prayer in the mosque. That was how I escaped the fire.
“When the alarm was raised, we all rushed here to see if we could contain the small fire that started then. We collected a bowl of detergent to use but then the thing exploded and everybody had to run for their lives. We have been calling the fire service since before 5 am. Maybe it would not have been this bad if they came earlier.”
Akande Abdulwaheed, who is a resident of the area was said to have opined that the best way to curb similar accidents is for the government to ban gas stations in residential areas.
“We don’t need to have gas stations in residential areas, especially a place as densely populated as this. It has been causing a lot of issues and loss of lives. One happened at Abule Egba sometimes ago, look at this one now. Where do we expect this to happen next?
“Some people are already getting ready to open another station down the street, the government should help us to make sure that business doesn’t open here. They should be located away from residential places so that people can sleep peacefully in their houses,” he said.
The Acting Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye stated that the explosion was caused by the generator of the gas station which was on when the LPG tanker was discharging at the plant.
“At about 20 minutes to 6 a.m., at Candos Road, Baruwa Inside, Lagos, an LPG tanker was in the process of discharging at the Best Roof Plant Station and the Station Generator was on and from where it was reported that an explosion erupted.
“A source revealed that the Gas plant has about 30 metric tons of gas in the underground tank. While dispensing to domestic consumption, it also loads LPG Tanks and it was stated that in the process of loading a tank with its generator working and possibly there could a leakage which got to the generator.
“The explosion threw the discharging tanker across the road. Many buildings have been destroyed,” Farinloye explained.