At least five unidentified bodies have were recovered from the debris of
a full-loaded Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG tanker which suddenly exploded around midnight on Thursday, at Maryland, inward Ikeja, along Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way area of the state with several vehicles, running into millions of naira burnt to ashes in the process.
Several others also sustained different degrees of burns, while others suffered various bodily injuries.
According to an eyewitness, the inferno which occurred around 11.45 pm at Ikeja, in front of Sheraton and Opic plaza, was later put out by men of the Lagos- State Fire Rescue Services and men of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Nigerian Police and other emergency responders.
It was gathered that those who suffered burns were rushed to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, for treatment.
Consequently, thousands of onlookers and sympathisers thronged the scene of the tragedy as rescue workers battled to bring the situation under control.
The attendant gridlock worsened as security agents and rescue team cordoned off the road to enable unhindered rescue operations.
Motorists and other road users were also trapped in terrible gridlock which extended into the ever-busy Ikorodu Road, Gbagada end of the road, Ikeja G.R.A, among others.
One of the eyewitnesses said that the incident occurred at exactly, 11.45 pm, Thursday, when the gas tanker who was on speed suddenly exploded into ball of fire, spreading quickly to buildings around.
“Those, who were caught in the inferno were screaming, help, help, but no one could respond at that particular time as everyone scampered to safety
Different accounts of how the tragedy occurred and figures of casualties emerged as eyewitnesses put possible deaths to be 12 persons, however, no evidence to the claim.
According to the Acting Coordinator NEMA, Lagos State, Ibrahim Farinloye, five deaths were recorded in all.
He said three bodies were initially recovered while two of those rescued and taken to the hospital died few minutes later, putting the total deaths at five, while 13 persons were rescued alive.
According to Director General, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, “On arrival of the Tiger officials at the scene of the incident, it was discovered that a Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, tanker was on fire as a result of explosion while the gas tanker was moving inward ikeja.
“The victims, who suffered varying degree of burns from the gas explosion were consequently taken to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH and Gbagada General Hospital Burns and Trauma Centre for treatment. “They are responding to treatment, while five persons lost their lives.”
Also, the Director, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Mrs Adeseye Margaret said the unfortunate incident which was reported at about 2235 hours on Thursday, was promptly are attended to by the firemen.
According to her: “A distress call was received from Opic Plaza, 28/30 Mobokaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja that a Gas Truck heading towards Ikeja reportedly exploded from a leakage which travelled through atmospheric conditions to meet an ignition point on the ground floor of the OPIC Plaza which houses a restaurant among other outlets resulting to Fire Outbreak.”
Adeseye added that three fire engines and crew were promptly detailed to rescue the situation and they completely put out the fire at the incident scene.
She further explained that on arrival at the scene of the incident, the Firefighters discovered that not less than 25 vehicles of various brands including the gas truck and the rear section of the plaza building was extensivly damaged by the resultant inferno.
She however, concluded that firefighting operations was concluded at 3 am Friday, as comprehensive post Fire disaster investigation and assessment has begun in earnest.
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