The Lagos state government says a total of five fatalities were recorded when a gas tanker exploded in the Ikeja area of the southwest Nigerian state.
The Lagos state Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) in its preliminary report on Saturday said thirteen causalities with various degrees of burns were recorded at the scene of the incident.
“They were attended to by the Pre-hospital care unit of LRU and transported to LASUTH and Gbagada General Hospital for further treatment,” the report read.
“Unfortunately three adult males were further discovered dead at the incident site early hours of today, their bodies were bagged and handed over to SEHMU for transport to the morgue.
“Also, two victims died early hour of this morning while under medical attention at LASUTH. Hence a total of 5 fatalities were recorded as at the time this report was put together.”
The report blamed a leaking gas tanker which spilled its content, and with a resulting wind action exploded.
“On arrival at the scene of the incident, it was discovered that a Gas tanker 13.5 Tons LPG truck in motion was leaking its content and as a result of wind action; the whole area of OPIC Structure was engulfed with fire,” the report stated.
“Close investigation further revealed that the LPG gas was ignited by the exposed fire from the kitchen of the New Chinese restaurant which followed the trail of the LPG gas resulting the combustion of the gas tanker outside the compound. The inferno of explosion resulted in several damages to the OPIC Plaza building structure.
“The building was damaged by the inferno. We recorded twenty four (24) vehicles that were burnt.”
The emergency management agency recommended that “tanker trucks conveying volatile gases should ensure their trucks are road worthy before embarking on a journey.
“All commercial buildings should develop an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and Fire Preventive Plan (FPP) in case of an emergency.”
Petrol tanker and pipeline blasts are common in Nigeria.
Explosions more often than not occur following accidents involving fuel tankers on poorly-maintained roads.
Focus should not just be on the trucks and drivers – Nigerian officials need to ensure roads in the country are repaired – to stop fuel tanker accidents – and save lives.
By Abel Ejikeme