• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Explosion renders hundreds homeless in Lagos

Abule Ado explosion
Hundreds of residents in Abule Ado area of Lagos were on Sunday morning rendered homeleess following an explosion which rocked the area, resulting in uncontrollable fire.
The impact of the explosion was felt several kilometres away, as several buildings including those in Festac Town, had their roofs blown off.
Some of the affected buildings in Festac include the Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) located at 7th Avenue, as well as Ark Parish of the RCCG, located on1st Avenue.
It could not be ascertained what led to the explosion which occured at about 8:50am.
Chairman of Amuwo-Odofin local government area, Valentine Buriamoh ruled out pipeline vandalism.
There were, however, speculations that it might have been caused by ruptured gas pipeline.
The number of casualties involved in the explosion could not also be ascertained.
Femi Oke-Osayintolu, Managing Director of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), said the actual figure of persons affected would be released after investigation into the occurrence has been concluded.
“It is too early to ascertain the casualty figure, until there is empirical data. We have rescued some people but I can’t give you figure now.
All the stakeholders are still here and working together. As you can see the situation has been brought under control,” said Oke-Osayintolu.
However, some of the eye witnesses said over 40 persons were rescued alive and taken to the hospital, with several dead as at 11:00am.
Particularly hit by the explosion was Bethlehem Girls College, said to be owned by the Catholic Church.
Two reverend fathers were said to have been rescued alive and rushed to the hospital by emergency responders, which include the Lagos State and federal fire services, the Red Cross, police, navy and army personnel who were still on ground at the time of this report.
Some students lodged in the school hostel were said to have also been trapped when the building collapsed under the impact of the explosion while  some escaped unhurt.
A victim, who identified as Japheth told BusinessDay that he only moved into the area in November 2019 but has now been rendered homeless.
Solomon Ogbonna, president of Ohaneze, Lagos, who spoke with BusinessDay, said there was the need to conduct deeper investigation into the explosion, which he said could be a bomb.
Ogbonna said the government must immediately do all that is necessary to avert a future occurrence of any similar incident.
 “Iam calling on Lagos State government to investigate this and not dismiss it as mere gas explosion. The scale of damage looks like a bomb,” said Ogbonna.
Lagos State government has  urged the  residents to keep calm over the pipeline explosion fire as the situation is being handled.
Commissioner for information and strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, in his twitter handle on Sunday morning, also confirmed that the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA)has fully mobilised to the scene, and was battling the fire.
“Pipeline explosion at Abule-Ado. LASEMA is fighting the fire. Please be calm,” said Omotosho.
Joshua Bassey