The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) on Thursday said its preliminary investigation had revealed that Liquefied Petroleum Gas, also known as cooking gas, was not responsible for the explosion which rocked Abule Ado in the Trade Fair axis of Lagos on March 15.
Bassey Essien, its Executive Secretary, in a statement issued in Lagos, commiserated with victims of the incident which left over 20 persons dead and several houses and vehicles destroyed.
Essien said immediately NALPGAM was informed of the incident, members of its Technical, Monitoring and Surveillance Committee visited the scene for an immediate and on-the-spot assessment of the damage.
He said the team also obtained eye witness accounts to unravel the empirical cause(s) of the explosion.
“Contrary to insinuations from various quarters, our preliminary investigation has revealed that LPG (cooking gas) was not the cause of the explosion.
“An LPG plant in the vicinity of the explosion as well as two LPG storage vessels with their contents in a skid plant located in a petrol filling station close to the scene of the explosion were still intact without any sign of damage done to them.
“Some quantities of 50kg gas cylinders with their contents intact belonging to a nearby gas retailer were not damaged.
“This thus lends credence to the fact that the explosion had no direct or remote connection to LPG,” Essien said.
According to him, NALPGAM is willing to make available its members , who with their wealth of experience, can assist the panel set up to investigate the Abule Ado explosion whenever their services are required.
“While we await the outcome of the panel, NALPGAM wishes to commiserate with the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the people of the state over the unfortunate incident.
“We commiserate with all the families that lost their loved ones, the students and management of Bethlehem High School, Abule Ado on the loss of their Principal, Rev Sr Henrietta Alokha, who displayed unprecedented gallantry in ensuring that she saved the lives of her students even at the cost of her own life.
“The unquantifiable number of properties lost, families rendered homeless and businesses destroyed as a result of the explosion is a national calamity.
“This calls for a sober reflection and support from well-meaning Nigerians to reach out to the affected families to ameliorate their losses, ” he said.
Essien also commended the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), LASEMA Response Unit (LRU), Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and security organisations for their crucial roles during the incident.
“It is our collective prayers that incidences of this nature would not occur again and that the Almighty God will console all the bereaved families. May the souls lost in the incident rest in perfect peace, ” he added.