A gas tanker exploded on Thursday in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos, leaving at least 16 persons critically injured and scores of building and cars destroyed.
Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.
The LASEMA boss said efforts are being made by his men to put out the resulting fire from the explosion with support from the Lagos State Fire Service, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
On Twitter, the emergency agency asked Lagosians to remain calm.
According to LASEMA investigations, an unknown truck conveying gasoline had a lone accident and exploded.
“The impact of the explosion led to fire on adjoining buildings and several vehicles burnt,” the agency said. “Several persons were injured and have been taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.”
A Damaged Tanker?
Speaking to Channels Television on Thursday at the site of the explosion, LASEMA’s Director of Operations, Engr Olatunde Akinsanya said 16 persons have been confirmed to be critically injured and taken to the Iju Water Works clinic.
Akinsanya added that the gas tanker explosion took place at about 3:30 pm.
The tanker was supposed to off load its content at a gas station, but the station’s owner reportedly refused to allow him because a seal had been broken, indicating that the content had been tampered with.
Enraged by the refusal of the station manager to off load the content in his tanker, the driver moved out of the premises.
A few meters away from the gas station, the front tire of the tanker burst and the gear box struck the ground causing a spark which led to an explosion when it came in contact with gas that was leaking from the tanker.
The vehicle ended in a ditch, where a second explosion erupted.
Eyewitnesses told Channels Television that the second explosion sent the tanker flying and destroying buildings in its path, including a church.
The impact of the explosion spread about 300 radii from the scene of the incident, the LASEMA official said.
It was not yet clear at the time of reporting this story whether the driver of the tanker was still alive as he seemed to have sustained third-degree burns.