By G9ija

How 17 Ondo council workers burnt to death in auto crash

Explosion rocked Ladipo, Mushin area of Lagos State, yesterday, claiming five persons, injuring 10 others and destroying 12 vehicles and  some buildings.

The explosion occurred at a gas shop on 33/35, Ojekunle Street, Ladipo spareparts market at 8.15 a.m.

Many people sustained injuries in the resultant stampede, while property, which monetary value could not be immediately ascertained, were also destroyed.

It was also gathered that 10 persons sustained minor injuries but were treated and discharged by the medical team at the scene of the explosion.

Spokesman for National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the incident, while Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, said the explosion occurred at an open land with shanties and shops where gas cylinders were stacked.

Report gathered from an eye witness that the owner of the gas shop, who was among the causalities was refilling some of the cylinders when his phone rang and in the process of attending to it, caused the explosion.

A survivor, Olewaseun Adesegun, said he was taking his bath within the premises when the explosion occurred but miraculously, he escaped it.

Adesegun, an upholstery maker,  said his boss was not that lucky as he was recovered dead during the search and rescue operation.

Another survivor, who simply gave his name as Oba, said: “I thought the whole world had collapsed because there was a loud bang and some of my neighbours did not survive it. Let me term it a miraculous escape because I did not know how I escaped. All I know is that I was in one of the badly damaged vehicles, but I cannot recall how I survived it.”

Also, speaking at the scene, a man who simply identified himself as Alfa, said: “I lost my friend in the accident. I am heartbroken. He was the one that opened the shop this morning, brought out the cylinders before the incident happened. I wasn’t here when it happened but I came immediately I received a call. It was a sorry sight, I couldn’t recognise my friend as his remains were littered everywhere on the ground.

“When he got to the shop this morning, he called to complain that it was long we saw. That was the last time I would speak with him.”

One of the sons of the landlord, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “The man who sold gas rented that place over 28 years ago and nothing like this has happened. It is disheartening that people who don’t know what happened are saying what they don’t know.

“My father owns the space rented by the occupants. Some of the victims are our tenants. So, I have to respect the dead not speaking to the press.”

One of the victims, Alhaji Umoru, who deals in scrap metals, has been buried at Muslim cemetery in Agege.

Vanguard gathered that one of the injured persons called Segun is still receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

A resident, Pa Adamson Kolaqolei, urged government to sanction erring gas sellers in the community.

Meanwhile, the scene of the incident has been cordoned off as security operatives manned strategic places.    

Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, who addressed journalists at the scene put the causality figure at five, including an infant.

He said the agency’s Response Team, Eagle Squad at Cappa had been deployed.

Farinloye who also addressed journalists at the scene corroborated Oke-Osanyintolu’s position.

Meanwhile, Deputy Head of the state Fire Service, Olajide Ogabi, who was at the scene of the incident, said the explosion affected neighbouring buildings and shops.  

Meanwhile, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, who also visited the scene of the incident,  described it as unfortunate and avoidable,  assuming all safety rules had been adhered to.