A major pipeline explosion was reported at Abule-Ado in Amowu Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos state on Sunday.
The explosion according to witnesses was caused by a truck carrying sand. It was said that the truck caught fire which spread to a nearby pipeline and triggered the explosion.
The explosion affected over a hundred houses, shattering glasses and collapsing buildings. Over 55 persons were reported injured and undergoing treatment at a nearby military hospital, while 17 deaths have been confirmed, with search still ongoing for those possibly trapped under the rubbles.
Amongst the affected buildings was the Bethlehem Girls Boarding School. The Principal of the school, now late Rev. Sr. Henrietta Alokha reportedly lost her life while attempting to rescue her students trapped in the school building. There is no confirmation on the number of casualties obtained among the students.
A young couple also lost their lives, in the tragic incident that saw both lives and properties destroyed. Video footage showed people uncontrollably moaning their loved ones, who were victims of the explosion.
NNPC statement on the cause of the explosion, blamed it on human error, and said that the truck hit some gas cylinders stacked in a gas processing plant located near the corporation’s 2B pipeline.
Reactions have trailed the tagged Black Sunday event as President Muhammadu Buhari made a statement sympathizing with the victims and their families.
“I have received with sadness the news of this unfortunate incident which caused the loss of lives and properties.
“A misfortune of whatever scale anywhere is a tragedy to the country, and while the NNPC makes effort to determine the cause of the incident, I send my deepest and profound sympathies to the victims, their families, government and people of Lagos state.
APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu has also condemned the explosion in a statement from his media office.
“I strongly condemn this incident. I commiserate with the families and relations of those who died. I also sympathize with those who lost their valued property.
“In their memories and in order to avert similar occurrences in future, the authorities must get to the root of this incident and curb the incessant pipeline explosion in the area.
” All those who had a hand in the explosion, including those who acted in ways to put lives at risk and hard-earned possessions in jeopardy, must be punished, no matter how highly placed they may be.”