Tragedy struck late Thursday night at the popular Mobolajo Bank-Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos as a gas tanker exploded, killing three persons and leaving 13 severely injured.
About 25 other vehicles parked in the premises of OPIC Plaza near the scene of the explosion were also razed while other occupants of properties around the scene scampered for safety.
The exact cause of the explosion couldn’t be ascertained but it was gathered that 13 people comprising nine males and four females sustained various degree of burns.
The emergency responders had a hectic time managing the crowd. It took the intervention of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, Hakeem Odumosu to control the crowd and ensure successful management of the situation.
Confirming the explosion, the Directo-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, the first responders worked to control the spread to the adjacent properties as well as the nearby petrol station until 0400hrs Friday.
Osanyintolu said: “The resultant explosion affected the OPIC Plaza leading to an inferno which damaged 22 parked vehicles within the premises.
“First responders worked to control the spread to the adjacent properties as well as the nearby petrol station until 0400hrs Friday. “Thirteen people were rescued, nine males and four females they sustained various degree of burns and were provided with pre hospital care before taking to Lagos State health facilities for further treatment
“A combined team of Agency Firefighters, Lagos Fire Service and the Federal fire Service were coordinated by the Agency while the Director of Lagos Fire Services, the Commissioner, Ministry of Special Duties, the Commissioner of Police were also in attendance at the scene. The affected truck has been moved, the entire affected area cordoned off and post disaster assessment ongoing.”
On his part, the National Emergency Management Agency, said that that four of the critically injured were transferred to the Burn Centre, General Hospital Gbagada at about 0230hours Friday
NEMA’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Fatinloye said that the explosion was alleged to have been caused by an unconfirmed leakage while the tanker was in motion.
He added that the development resulted into fire that travelled with the wind to the premises of Ogun State Property Investiment Company (OPIC) Plaza besides Sheraton Hotel.
The plaza houses different commercial outfits including a Chinese Restaurant.
According to him, preliminary assessment on vehicles damaged indicated that about 25 were burnt as at the time of filing this report.
He added that a comprehensive post disaster assessment on the extent of general damages would be done later Friday.