Lagosians woke up on Wednesday morning to the sad news of of a destructive explosion at the Abule Egba area of Lagos State.
The explosion that rocked Abule-Egba community of Lagos Wednesday morning was caused by activities of pipeline vandals reports teveal.
Residents and passers-by, who thronged the community Wednesday morning told this newspaper that the incident occurred in the early hours of the day when vandals scooped petrol from a pipeline that runs through the community. It further revealed how cars, houses and offices around Awori, Tipper Garage bus stop and some parts of Abattoir areas of the community were consumed by the inferno. Tajudeen Salako, a resident who spoke to journalists, explained that the incident occurred around 5 a.m. when residents were alerted due to the effect of the inferno.
“We were sleeping in our room when we heard noises from outside and people started running helter skelter, packing their goods from their shops,” he said. As you can see, the explosion was caused by the leakage from this pipeline here (at Awori). The vandals broke the pipeline from its source here and the fuel leaked through the drainage from here up till Abattoir.
“The fire however didn’t start from here. It started from Abattoir area and then started tracing the oil spill back to this point where the leakage occurred. In the process, many cars and houses and offices were burnt.”
When our reporter visited the source of the bunkering activity at Awori area, officials of the fire service, NSCDC and the Lagos state emergency service were seen preventing residents from going near the source of the fuel leakage. Three containers and a tipper, burnt beyond repair, were placed at the spot.
An official of the NSCDC, who declined to have her name in print, told reporters that the various agencies are making efforts to fix the source of the leakage to prevent further leakages and explosion.
Many residents, who spoke to this newspaper, confirmed that the inferno began from the other end, at Abattoir, before it spread back to the source of the spillage at Awori area of the community.
“I think the fire must have started (at) Abattoir where people are burning cow meat and other things,” Emmanuel James, a resident. The culvert on the road protected many of the residential areas along this road. It would have been a different thing entirely.”
It was also observed that a car mart, located in front of a popular shopping mall adjacent Abule-Egba Under-bridge, was completely razed as cars worth millions of naira were burnt beyond recognition.
The chairperson of traders at Abule Egba, who identified herself as Kudirat, told journalists that many traders have been rendered penniless as a result of the explosion. Ms. Kudirat said the government would need to conduct investigations into the incident and fish out the perpetrators.
She also appealed to the Lagos State government to come to the rescue of traders and residents who had their goods and property burnt in the explosion.
Residents residing in houses surrounding the source of the leakage called on security agencies to look into how the bunkering was carried out.
Although a few residents said a pregnant woman and the car mart owner had been rushed to the hospital, journalists confirmed from residents that no human casualty has been recorded as at press time Wednesday morning.
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