The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, has said that 17 bodies have been recovered while 25 casualties are being treated for injuries sustained in the Abule-Ado pipeline explosion.
Oke-Osanyintolu made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
The explosion reportedly occurred at about 9.00 a.m.
Oke-Osanyintolu expressed sympathy with the families of those that died, even as he wished the injured ones quick recovery. He also appealed for calm.
He urged residents of Abule-Ado to shun fake news concerning the explosion.
“We the LASEMA Response Team arrived at the incident scene and it was discovered that a raging fire had displaced several residents who fled their abodes for fear of being caught up in the inferno.
“The primary cause of the explosion is yet unknown.
“There are a number of secondary explosions which have caused significant damage to multiple buildings including the levelling of a church to the ground and the destruction of St. Margaret’s Girls Hostel.
“The causes are yet to be determined, while security agents are investigating the cause of the explosion,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.
He said that recovery and rescue activities were carried out by the Ministry of Special Duties, LASEMA, Lagos State Fire Service crew, Federal Fire Service Department, Safety Commission, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and other first responders.
He said that operation was still in progress, saying that updates would continue through the course of operation, while investigations remain on going.
Some residents of Abule Ado in Amuwo-Odofin LGA of Lagos State have expressed sadness at ravaging effects of the oil pipeline explosion which occurred on Sunday morning.
It killed at least 15 people and destroyed more than 70 buildings including schools, churches, hotels and warehouses.
Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, has blamed the fire on gas leakage from activities around an oil pipeline.
One of the residents, Mr Japheth Okafor, told the NAN that he narrowly death from the explosion.
He said that an alarm raises by his boss alerted him and others to escape through a window.
“Before the explosion, the sky changed to white and we started perceiving gas odour; few minutes after, there was an explosion.
“My boss screamed and asked us to jump through the window.
“That was how we escaped this morning,’’ Okafor said.
Chief Solomon Ogbonna, the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Lagos State, called on the state government to conduct a thorough investigation into the explosion.
“The government must immediately do all that is necessary to avert a reoccurrence.
“I am calling on the Lagos State Government to investigate this and not dismiss it as a mere gas explosion.
“The damage is huge,’’ Ogbonna said.
A correspondent of NAN, who visited the scene, observed that the explosion blew off the roofs of numerous buildings both near and far from the scene.
The Bethlehem Girls School, owned by the Catholic Church, was reduced to rubbles.
A couple and a Catholic reverend sister were among those feared dead.
The impact of the explosion was felt kilometres away, as roofs and glass windows of some buildings in Festac Town were equally shattered by the explosion.
The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed that 15 people were killed by the explosion.